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January 24, 2019 • Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Elevating principals St. Paul Seminary launches Institute for Catholic School Leadership led by Catholic school researcher Mimi Schuttloffel. — Page 12

Shutdown assistance Archbishop Hebda stands with other faith leaders to call attention to people affected by longest-ever partial federal shutdown. — Page 5

Mapping theO future

Holy Night

‘Roadmap for Catholic Education’ identifies key local challenges and brings together experts to identify solutions — Pages 9-11

Pilgrims in Panama More than 80 local youths and young adults are attending World Youth Day with Pope Francis. — Page 6

Boosting Latino enrollment Catholic Schools Center of Excellence opens Lake Street office to connect with Latino families interested in Catholic schools. — Page 13

The pelican and the Eucharist? Father Michael Van Sloun explains why this waterfowl, since the ancient Church, has symbolized Christ’s sacrifice. — Page 16

WONDER AND AWE Kindergartner Levi Brown of Faithful Shepherd Catholic School in Eagan reacts to the reading of the story “Nicky and the Rainy Day” by his teacher, Kathy Malmquist, during class Jan. 17. Catholic Schools Week is Jan. 27 through Feb. 2.


Honoring Catholic business leaders whose faith shapes their work. Nominations open through March 29 at TheCatholicSpirit.com. Awardee luncheon with Archbishop Bernard Hebda Aug. 1.

Good Work • In Christ


JANUARY 24, 2019


Let us remember that it is ... important to be engaged in the public discourse in democracy. But, at the same time, what we are engaged in is not merely a political movement, but more fundamentally a spiritual one. It will ultimately be God — through our turning to him, seeking his protection and mercy — not our politicians, who will save our country. Father Joe Bambenek, pastor of St. Pius X in White Bear Lake, in a Jan.18 homily given in Washington, D.C., to pilgrims from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis preparing for the March for Life and accompanying rally on the National Mall. The March for Life calls for an end to abortion. It marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in all 50 states. Archdiocesan leaders, including Archbishop Bernard Hebda, accompanied a local delegation of about 180 youths and chaperones to the march.

NEWS notes


MARCHING FOR LIFE Peyton Peppler, center, of St. Michael in Prior Lake walks with others from her parish, including Lori Hinker, right, to the State Capitol Jan. 22 for the annual March for Life, sponsored by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. The group from St. Michael also attended the ecumenical Prayer Service for Life at the Cathedral of St. Paul, which took place right before the march. Archbishop Bernard Hebda led the prayer service, and he was joined by Bishop Paul Sirba of Duluth. The event takes place every year on the anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. The prayer service is organized by the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life. Hinker works at the parish in faith formation and youth ministry, and she also teaches middle school religion at St. Michael Catholic School.

The number of St. Thomas Academy students and rifle team members on target for competing in the Civilian Marksmanship Program regional championships in Ohio this spring. The team from the all-male Catholic high school in Mendota Heights won the state championship Jan. 12. Team members are sophomores Michael Driscoll, Daniel Staelgraeve, Jack Martin and senior Kaleb Rutgers.


The year Deacon Joe Kittok was ordained to the permanent diaconate. Deacon Kittok, who serves at St. Maximilian Kolbe in Delano, was named 2019 Delano Citizen of the Year in early January for his involvement in the community. He has served in leadership with the Delano Sportsmen’s Club for years. He also works with the Delano Ministerial Association and the Delano Spirit of Community Commission.


The grade of Paige Goehner, a student at Hill-Murray School in Maplewood, who competed in the Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship Jan. 7, 13 and 21. She advanced through three rounds of competition and competes again Jan. 28. The show showcases young people ages 9 to 13 who compete with their baking skills for 10 rounds to win the title and a grand prize.


The length in minutes of the opening prayer given by Black Catholic Conference member Cynthia Bailey Manns for the Minnesota House of Representatives at the State Capitol on the first day of the 2019 legislative session Jan. 8. “I pray you embody discernment, clarity, wisdom, courage, humility, the ability to imagine what is yet to be and to work with each other in the messiness of ‘I don’t know,’” she prayed. Manns, the adult learning director at St. Joan of Arc in Minneapolis, included a moment of silence for retired Rep. Tom Rukavina, 68, a Catholic and DFL lawmaker who represented the Iron Range. He died Jan. 7. COURTESY CHESTERTON ACADEMY

STORY OF A SAINT Archbishop Bernard Hebda stands Jan. 12 with the cast of “The Trial of John Vianney,” a junior-class play performed at Chesterton Academy in Edina Jan. 10-12. Written by Chesterton co-founder Dale Ahlquist and directed by his wife, Laura Ahlquist, the play presented part of the life of St. John Vianney (1786-1859), a French priest who is the patron of parish priests and a patron of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Junior William Kummings, standing next to Archbishop Hebda, portrayed St. John Vianney in the performance the archbishop attended.

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS WEEK In this issue, The Catholic Spirit celebrates National Catholic Schools Week, an event highlighting the good work of Catholic education in the United States. This year Catholic Schools Week is Jan. 27-Feb. 2. Sponsored by the National Catholic Educational Association, Catholic Schools Week has been held annually since 1974. Catholic schools mark the week in many ways, ranging from special Masses to spirit dress-up days. Visit TheCatholicSpirit.com for more coverage of Catholic Schools Week.

The Catholic Spirit is published semi-monthly for The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Vol. 24 — No. 2 MOST REVEREND BERNARD A. HEBDA, Publisher TOM HALDEN, Associate Publisher United in Faith, Hope and Love



The number of students St. John Vianney College Seminary at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul could receive as the Archdiocese of Chicago closes its undergraduate seminary, St. Joseph College Seminary of Loyola University. Enrollment at the Chicago seminary has dropped as more men choose seminary after undergraduate studies and often after some work experience. Father Michael Becker, rector of St. John Vianney, said the seminary is excited to welcome seminarians from St. Joseph College. Those who are interested in transferring in fall 2019 will make their first visit to the seminary in February, he said. Currently, 98 students from 19 dioceses are enrolled at SJV.


The number of years Lillian Theater has been the site for Cretin-Derham Hall students showcasing their theatrical talents. The St. Paul Catholic high school celebrated the theater’s anniversary with an improv night Jan. 18 and a Jan. 19 review show and Q&A with seven CDH alumni working professionally in theater in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City and San Francisco.

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JANUARY 24, 2019



Catholic schools help parents pass on the faith


hile the media coverage of this year’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., has been dominated by a videoed altercation involving some high school students from Kentucky, a Native American activist and members of the Black Hebrew Israelites, I came home from the march overwhelmingly energized by the faith of the young Catholics who participated from our archdiocese. The 180 who traveled with our group, as well as the many from our archdiocese whom I met along the trek from the National Mall to the U.S. Supreme Court building, impressed me as being thoughtful, principled, prayerful and passionate. Having spent three days with our young pilgrims, I have to confess that there were times when I felt old, not getting all their jokes or catching all their references. But their personal commitment to Christ — and their desire to share their faith with others in the most creative and compassionate of ways — really resonated in my seemingly prehistoric heart and gave me great hope. In the days leading up to the march, they creatively came up with a number of chants for our group that not only communicated our message to bystanders, but also kept us together (no small feat at such a large event). It was clear that they were feeding off of each other’s joy and creative genius. Their sharings at the end of the day were never less than inspiring as they drew upon their experiences of the march and rally, or the Holocaust Museum or the St. John Paul II National Shrine, or the Vietnam and Korean War memorials. It brought back lots of memories from my own

Las escuelas católicas ayudan a los padres a transmitir la fe


ientras que la cobertura de los medios de la Marcha por la Vida de este año en Washington, DC, ha estado dominada por un altercado en video que involucra a algunos estudiantes de secundaria de Kentucky, un activista nativo americano y miembros de los Israelitas Hebreos Negros, regresé a casa de la Marcha con gran energía. por la fe de los jóvenes católicos que participaron de nuestra Arquidiócesis. Los 180 que viajaron con nuestro grupo, así como los muchos de nuestra Arquidiócesis que conocí a lo largo de la caminata desde el centro comercial hasta el edificio de la Corte Suprema, me impresionaron por ser reflexivos, de principios, orantes y apasionados. Después de haber pasado tres días con nuestros jóvenes peregrinos, debo confesar que hubo momentos en los que me sentí viejo, sin captar todas sus bromas o captando todas sus referencias; pero sus compromiso personal con Cristo y sus deseo de compartir sus fe con los demás, de la manera más creativa y compasiva, realmente resonaron en mi

high school days and, in particular, the March for Life in 1976 and 1977. In comparison with my 2019 companions, I realize that I must have been quite the slacker. Whereas the recent trip was punctuated with daily Mass, eucharistic adoration, morning prayer, night prayer and opportunities for confession, my high school classmates and I had spent much of our bus trip to D.C. planning escapes from our chaperones to meet up with our contemporaries from Pittsburgh’s all-girl Catholic high schools for hot chocolate and a little sightseeing. In some regards, times have apparently changed for the better. This week’s experience of vibrant Catholicism gave me a glimpse of what can happen when parents and their collaborators in education succeed in passing on the faith. It also highlighted for me how distressing it is that recent studies have shown that 13 is the median age when Catholics who have left the Church begin to stop identifying themselves as Catholic. Next Sunday, the Church in the United States begins its annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week. I’m grateful that our 79 Catholic elementary schools and 14 high schools provide our parents and Church with a time-tested vehicle for passing on the faith. While the young folks on the pilgrimage to D.C. certainly illustrated that the faith can be successfully passed on to public school students and home-schooled students, it also brought to the fore the tremendous opportunity that we have in our Catholic schools to form joy-filled disciples who know both Christ and the life-giving teachings of his Church. We are blessed in this archdiocese to have not only a strong tradition of vibrant youth ministry and religious education, but also a deeply rooted commitment to excellent Catholic schools,

corazón aparentemente prehistórico y me dieron una gran esperanza. En los días previos a la Marcha, crearon una cantidad de cantos para nuestro grupo que no solo comunicaron nuestro mensaje a los espectadores, sino que también nos mantuvieron unidos fue una gran hazaña en un evento tan grande). Estaba claro que se alimentaban de la alegría y el genio creativo de cada uno. Sus participaciones al final del día nunca fueron menos inspiradoras, ya que se inspiraron en sus experiencias de la Marcha y el Rally, o del Museo del Holocausto o el Santuario de Juan Pablo II, o los memoriales de guerra de Vietnam o Corea. Me trajo muchos recuerdos de mis días de escuela secundaria y, en particular, la Marcha por la Vida en 1976 y 1977. En comparación con mis compañeros de 2019, me doy cuenta de que debo haber sido bastante vago. Mientras que el viaje reciente estuvo salpicado de misa diaria, adoración eucarística, oración matutina y oración nocturna y oportunidades para la confesión, mis compañeros de la escuela secundaria y yo pasamos gran parte de nuestro viaje en autobús a DC. Las escuelas secundarias católicas de chicas de Pittsburgh ofrecen chocolate caliente y un poco de turismo. En algunos aspectos, los tiempos aparentemente han cambiado para mejor. La experiencia de esta semana sobre el catolicismo vibrante me dio una idea de lo que puede suceder cuando los padres y sus colaboradores en la educación logran transmitir la fe. También me resaltó lo preocupante

continuing the work that began when the Sisters of St. Joseph opened the first Catholic school for our local Church in 1851. The Roadmap for Excellence in Catholic Education, discussed in this edition of The Catholic Spirit, builds upon that strong foundation. Since my arrival in the archdiocese, I have been consistently impressed by the conviction, shared by our faithful as well as by local foundations, that we are stewards of a great gift: our Catholic schools. I have been consistently amazed by the response that I have received from our partners in Catholic education — and experts from across the country — whenever I have asked for their assistance in the articulation of our Roadmap. This has brought to bear best practices from around the country while recognizing factors that distinguish our particular history and strengths. I am hopeful that our intense and collective efforts will help us to bring even greater stability to our Catholic schools — while maximizing their impact — by striving to make them not only academically excellent, but also affordable and accessible. As we have shared with others our desire to develop both effective future leadership for our Catholic schools and a curriculum that accurately and joyfully reflects our Catholic beliefs and values, the response has been overwhelmingly positive and energizing. I would ask that you would keep the Roadmap and the ongoing renewal of our Catholic schools in your prayers. Our young people and their families deserve the best that we can offer. Building on the theme for Catholic Schools Week 2019, may the schools of this archdiocese truly be places where our young can learn, serve, lead and succeed.

que es el hecho de que estudios recientes hayan demostrado que 13 es la edad mediana en que los católicos que abandonaron la Iglesia comenzaron a dejar de identificarse como católicos. El próximo domingo, la Iglesia en los Estados Unidos comienza su celebración anual de la Semana de las Escuelas Católicas. Estoy agradecido de que nuestras 79 escuelas primarias católicas y 14 escuelas secundarias proporcionen a nuestros padres y a la Iglesia un vehículo comprobado por el tiempo para transmitir la fe. Si bien los jóvenes en la peregrinación a DC demostraron sin duda que la fe se puede transmitir con éxito a los estudiantes de escuelas públicas y a los que estudian en casa, también trajo al frente la tremenda oportunidad que tenemos en nuestras escuelas católicas para formar una alegría plena discípulos que conocen a Cristo y las enseñanzas que dan vida a su Iglesia. Somos bendecidos en esta Arquidiócesis por tener no solo una sólida tradición de vibrante ministerio juvenil y educación religiosa, sino también un compromiso profundamente arraigado con excelentes escuelas católicas, continuando el trabajo que comenzó cuando las Hermanas de San José abrieron la primera escuela católica para nuestra iglesia local en 1851. La Hoja de ruta para la excelencia en la educación católica, discutida en esta edición del Espíritu católico, se basa en esa base sólida. Desde mi llegada a la Arquidiócesis, me ha impresionado

constantemente la convicción, compartida por nuestros fieles y también por las fundaciones locales, de que somos administradores de un gran regalo: nuestras escuelas católicas. Siempre me ha sorprendido la respuesta que he recibido de nuestros socios en la educación católica, y de expertos de todo el país, cada vez que solicité su ayuda para la articulación de nuestra Hoja de ruta, lo que nos permite conocer las mejores prácticas de todo el mundo. Nuestro país reconociendo los factores que distinguen nuestra historia particular y fortalezas. espero que nuestros esfuerzos intensos y colectivos nos ayuden a brindar una estabilidad aún mayor a nuestras escuelas católicas, al tiempo que maximicen su impacto al esforzarnos para que sean académicamente excelentes, pero también asequibles y accesibles. Como hemos compartido con otros nuestro deseo de desarrollar un liderazgo futuro efectivo para nuestras escuelas católicas y un plan de estudios que refleje con precisión y alegría nuestras creencias y valores católicos, la respuesta ha sido abrumadoramente positiva y energizante. Les pido que mantengan la Hoja de ruta y la renovación continua de nuestras escuelas católicas en sus oraciones. Nuestros jóvenes y sus familias merecen lo mejor que podemos ofrecer. Sobre la base del tema de la Semana de las Escuelas Católicas 2019, las escuelas de esta Arquidiócesis sean verdaderamente lugares donde nuestros jóvenes pueden: aprender, servir, liderar y tener éxito.


JANUARY 24, 2019


SLICEof LIFE Cultural encounter


Bridget Gallagher, a University of St. Thomas art history graduate student, gives second-grader Adam Regino, right, of St. Peter Claver Catholic School in St. Paul a closer look at a piece of art from the American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas Jan. 16. Students from St. Thomas brought a shield made by members of the Asmat tribe for students in first and second grade to view, study and try to replicate in drawings they made in the classroom during the week of Jan. 14-18 as part of an interdisciplinary community outreach project. St. Peter Claver teacher Mary Chantland, who has an art history degree, said she thinks the experience is valuable for students “to learn about a different culture, to learn about the meaning of art. ... I think it’s great for them to have other people come in and teach them about something they may not see in real life.” At far left is firstgrader Dominique Crews.


JANUARY 24, 2019


Archbishop: People affected by shutdown must receive care The Catholic Spirit Archbishop Bernard Hebda joined about a dozen other faith leaders as well as Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and other state officials at a Jan. 15 news conference at the State Capitol in St. Paul on the impact the longest federal government shutdown in history was having on Minnesotans, especially vulnerable populations dependent on federal services. The archbishop noted the number of religious traditions represented at the gathering, saying it “really gives evidence to the importance of this question and [to] making sure that we’re caring for those who are most vulnerable.” He said it is important for people to set aside partisan politics to address problems that will have a concrete impact on families. He said he wishes the religious community could fix the partial shutdown, but it can’t. “But we know that as we come together to support those who represent us in government that we have an opportunity to have an impact,” the archbishop said. Walz said state officials were providing funds for the costs of some federal programs to prevent a disruption of services, and they will continue to monitor the situation to help mitigate the shutdown’s negative effects and ensure the state of Minnesota is reimbursed for those costs. Sister Carolyn Puccio, the archdiocese’s delegate for consecrated life, also attended the news conference to represent her community, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.


Archbishop Bernard Hebda makes comments during a news conference at the State Capitol in St. Paul Jan. 15 concerning the effects of the federal government shutdown on Minnesota and how the state can provide crucial services to citizens in need. Archbishop Hebda was among faith leaders present at the press conference, which also featured Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. Behind Archbishop Hebda is Sister Carolyn Puccio representing the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Judge: ‘Good progress has been made so far’ in archdiocese’s safe environment practices By Maria Wiering The Catholic Spirit A Ramsey County Court judge affirmed Jan. 10 the steps the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has taken since 2015 to enhance its safe environment efforts, and she emphasized that it must continue after the period of court oversight ends next year. “Thus far, progress has been made, but it can’t stop in 10-years time,” said Judge Teresa Warner during a hearing at the Ramsey County Courthouse in St. Paul. She said the goal of the archdiocese’s December 2015 settlement agreement with the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office was to “change the culture” of the archdiocese, and she wanted assurance that was being achieved. Tim O’Malley, archdiocesan director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment, said the archdiocese’s work goes beyond meeting settlement requirements to “the spirit of the settlement” to create and maintain a culture that ensures the safety of future generations from clergy sexual abuse. “It’s embedding the practices so that our grandchildren will have them in place,” he said. “It’s not just checking boxes.” The hearing was the sixth since the archdiocese entered into the settlement agreement with Ramsey County on civil charges the county had filed against it earlier that year. In June 2015, Ramsey County filed civil and criminal charges against the archdiocese for failing to protect children in the case of former priest Curtis Wehmeyer, who abused three brothers in 2010-2011 while he was assigned to Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul. In July 2016, Ramsey County dismissed the criminal charges and amended the settlement agreement. Among the settlement’s requirements is Ramsey County’s oversight of the archdiocese’s safe environment efforts until 2020. As part of the agreement, the archdiocese has filed a report with the court every six months on its compliance with the settlement agreement. Like the earlier reports, this report demonstrated that the archdiocese is in “substantial compliance” with the agreement. Archdiocesan leaders also submitted the results of an external audit conducted this fall by Rochester, New York-based Stonebridge Business Partners. The

audit is the second external audit the archdiocese has undergone to examine its compliance with the settlement agreement. Like the previous audit, which Stonebridge completed in 2017, this year’s external audit also found the archdiocese in substantial compliance with the agreement. The progress report and external audit examined the archdiocese’s safe environment policies and procedures. Both the internal report and external audit are available at archspm.org. The progress report noted that in the past six months, the archdiocese reorganized its Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, and it continues to work with an OPCY Advisory Committee that formed earlier this year. The archdiocese also conducted 28 site visits in the fall, for a total of 44 parish and school visits in 2018. Archdiocesan leaders have also continued to work with training for seminarians; ensuring the policy compliance of clergy, employees and volunteers; and reviewing its policies around VIRTUS training, its training model for identifying indicators of sexual abuse. The archdiocese also reported that archdiocesan leaders and representatives of the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office are working together to organize a conference on restorative justice, an initiative the settlement agreement required to take place within 18 months after the archdiocese was discharged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The bankruptcy discharge was formalized Dec. 21. During the hearing, O’Malley testified that the archdiocese has seen an increase in involvement from lay people, including abuse survivors, in shaping its safe environment efforts. “I think that’s a very healthy indicator for long-term change,” he said. Thomas Ring, Ramsey County assistant attorney, testified that the archdiocese is in regular communication with his office and that he’s observed “something more robust than compliance.” “Things, we believe, are getting better,” he said. Warner noted that the archdiocese is under the county’s oversight for one more year, “and a year isn’t a long time.” “Good progress has been made so far, but there’s still more work to do,” she said.

EXECUTIVE summary Editor’s note: The following executive summary was prepared by Stonebridge Business Partners. It has not been edited for content or style.

Second external audit of the Ramsey County/Archdiocesan settlement agreement On December 17, 2015, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul (“Archdiocese”) agreed to a Settlement Agreement (the “Agreement”), which became effective January 28, 2016. Based on the parties’ experience implementing the Agreement and several remaining concerns, the Agreement was amended in July 2016. The Agreement requires the Archdiocese to work toward creating and fostering an organizational culture in which every person becomes and remains vigilant about achieving an overall goal that no child ever again be the victim of clergy sexual abuse in this Archdiocese. The Agreement requires the Archdiocese to create an organizational structure capable of meeting the core components and requirements in the Agreement. Among other things, the Agreement requires more expansive oversight of Archdiocesan safe environment practices by the Archbishop, the Board of Directors, Ministerial Review Board, and the Director of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment. Further, the Agreement sets terms, conditions and requirements intended to foster the continuous improvement of programs for the protection of children and youth. As part of assessing change and improvement, the Archdiocese is required to undergo three fiscal year compliance audits performed by an outside firm. The Archdiocese selected Stonebridge Business Partners of Rochester, New York to complete its first two external audits. We have completed our second compliance review of the Agreement for the period ending June 30, 2018. Compliance with the terms and conditions outlined in each section of the Agreement were tested through a process of inquiry, observation, interviews/ site visits and the inspection of specifically requested documents. As a result of our review, we found the Archdiocese materially compliant with the terms and conditions of the Agreement. A copy of the full report can be found at: archspm.org.



JANUARY 24, 2019

Local pilgrims joining Pope Francis at World Youth Day in Panama By Matthew Davis The Catholic Spirit World Youth Day in January works well for University of St. Thomas students Katie Duncan and Leo Kaardal. Neither St. Thomas senior took classes this month, and they’ve joined 26 other pilgrims, including Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens, in a group from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in Panama City Jan. 22-27. Normally held in the summer, World Youth Day is in January this year to work around Panama’s rainy season. “I’m really looking forward to being able to meet people from all over the world,” Duncan said before leaving on the trip. “I think that it will be a really great time to learn about other cultures and how other people express their faith.” In addition to the archdiocesan group, a multiparish Latino group of 25 based out of St. Stephen in Minneapolis is attending World Youth Day. St. Bernard in St. Paul also has a group of 35. The pilgrims joined hundreds of thousands of young people ages 16-35 from around the world to celebrate the Catholic faith with Pope Francis. World Youth Day began in the 1980s with St. John Paul II. It takes place every two or three years as a way for young people to join the pope and experience the universality of the Church. “That becomes very real. It’s not just a thing that you learn in the textbooks,” said John Sondag, director of religious education at St. Helena in Minneapolis, who is leading the archdiocesan group. Sondag has been to every World Youth Day since Denver hosted it in 1993, except for the Philippines in 1995. It won’t be the first World Youth Day for Kaardal either; he went to Brazil in 2013. He said he looks forward to experiencing the universality of the Church again.


Father Ivan Sant, right, the pastor of St. Bernard in St. Paul, prays a blessing Jan. 17 over pilgrims before they left for World Youth Day in Panama Jan. 22-27. Next to him is Father Joseph Kureh. Whether he gets as close to Pope Francis as he did in 2013 remains to be seen. The motorcade with the pope passed by surprisingly close to him at the closing Mass, Kaardal said. “That was pretty cool because I wasn’t expecting to get the actual look at the pope,” he said. “I thought more so it would be on the [giant video] screen.” A member of the St. Stephen group, Maria Sinchi, said this is her first World Youth Day. She sees the opportunity as a pilgrimage to grow in faith with fellow Latino young adults and to give back to their communities when they return. “It’s a once-in-lifetime opportunity, especially going with people that I know and that I’ve grown in faith

with,” said Sinchi, who is taking time off from her job to attend. “It’s just an amazing way to grow in faith with others [and] others’ experiences and how they came to be Catholics and why they are Catholics, especially with the [clergy sex abuse] crisis going on right now.” Archdiocesan group chaperone and Visitation School religion teacher Mary McClure is also missing work to attend World Youth Day for the first time. A student from the Mendota Heights all-girls Catholic school is also attending. “I love the variety, just appealing to other people ... living in another part of the world,” McClure said. Duncan sees the January date as a way the pope “is expanding World Youth Day to different parts of the world so that it’s accessible for more people.” Duncan, who also works part time for the archdiocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Life, became interested in World Youth Day after working on multiple Archdiocesan Youth Day events. She said the local youth day tries to “simulate” World Youth Day on a smaller local level. “I think that whenever we’re taken out of our element, whenever we’re taken out of a place that we’re comfortable, it’s a lot easier to be open to what the Lord is speaking to us and what he’s trying to give us,” Duncan said. World Youth Day includes catechetical sessions in various languages, Stations of the Cross and liturgies with the pope. Pilgrimage sites include Casco Viejo, a historic district with many old churches that date to the 1600s, and Panama Viejo, the original capital founded on the feast of the Assumption in 1519. “I think it will be a great boost to the Church in Panama,” McClure said before the trip. “Anytime a city is so generous to host an event like that … I think the grace of the generosity will come back to them.”

If you suspect abuse of a minor, your first call should be to law enforcement. You are also encouraged to contact the archdiocese’s Victim Assistance Program at (651) 291-4475. For confidential, compassionate assistance from an independent and professional local care provider, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, contact Canvas Health at (651) 291-4497.

JANUARY 24, 2019



After initial outrage, details of students’ exchange emerge By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service An exchange between Catholic high school students and a Native American tribal leader in Washington Jan. 18 sparked outrage on social media the following day, but the immediate accusations that the students showed racist behavior have been stepped back as more details of the entire situation have emerged. Many say the incident still needs to be investigated or discussed, and others have pointed out that what happened can still provide a teaching moment not just about racism but also about news coverage and social media’s rapid response. The student most prominent in the footage, junior Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, issued a statement Jan. 20 saying he has “received physical and death threats via social media, as well as hateful insults” based on reaction across social media. He also said he would cooperate in any investigation Church leaders plan to undertake. The group’s chaperones, also criticized on social media, said later the students “were targeted from the get-go.” Covington Catholic High School, Covington Latin School and Covington’s diocesan offices were closed Jan. 22 due to threats of violence and will reopen when it is safe to do so, according to a diocesan statement reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer. On Jan. 18, tens of thousands gathered in Washington for the annual March for Life, a march along Constitution Avenue to the U.S. Supreme Court after a rally on the National Mall to mark the court’s Jan. 22, 1973, decision that legalized abortion.

The march, held a few days before the actual anniversary this year, took place on the same day as the first Indigenous People’s March where marchers walked in the other direction on Constitution Avenue to draw attention to injustices against indigenous people. At the day’s end, while students from Covington Catholic High School who had attended the March for Life were waiting for their buses to pick them up near the Lincoln Memorial, they encountered members of the Indigenous People’s March, in particular Nathan Phillips, tribal elder for the Omaha Tribe. In clips from a video that went viral almost immediately, students are shown surrounding the leader, who is chanting and beating a drum. They appear to be mocking him. Some students in the crowd were identified by their Covington sweatshirts but the attire that drew the most rage was the “Make America Great Again” hats worn by a few in the group. That phrase, which President Donald Trump used during his successful presidential campaign, has been deemed to be “racist” by his opponents. The clip caused immediate outrage. In response to the escalating fury and disgust on social media against these students, Covington Catholic High School and the Diocese of Covington issued a joint statement Jan. 19 saying they condemned the students’ actions “toward Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general,” and the school was investigating the incident. The day after the initial clip of the exchange went viral, extended footage of how the situation unfolded appeared on social media, and the students issued their own statements about it, like


Students from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, Ky., stand in front of Native American Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips Jan. 18 near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington in this still image from video. At left is junior Nick Sandmann. Sandmann, who was directly in front of the Native American drummer. Longer videos shown online reveal that another group at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial included members of the Hebrew Israelites, who also were attending the Indigenous People’s March to share their own beliefs that AfricanAmericans are God’s chosen people and the true Hebrew descendants. Members of this group, as shown in video footage, taunted the students and some responded back. Phillips, the Native American, walked over to the students and the group as an intervention, singing and beating a song of prayer. Sandmann, in a statement, said Phillips “locked eyes with me and approached me, coming within inches of my face.”

“I did not speak to him. I did not make any hand gestures or other aggressive moves. To be honest, I was startled and confused as to why he had approached me. We had already been yelled at by another group of protesters. ... I was worried that a situation was getting out of control.” “I am mortified that so many people have come to believe something that did not happen — that students from my school were chanting or acting in a racist fashion toward African-Americans or Native Americans,” Sandmann said. “I did not do that, do not have hateful feelings in my heart, and did not witness any of my classmates doing that.” His statement was posted on the CNN website, cnn.it/2FOLNCC.

Wisconsin parish praises God for Jayme Closs’ safe return By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service For nearly three months, parishioners of St. Peter Catholic Church in Cameron, Wisconsin, prayed for the safe return of one of their own — 13-year-old Jayme Closs. When parishioners heard the news that she had escaped her abductor Jan. 10 and was safe, they prayed in gratitude. The parish sign said, “Praise God Welcome Home Jayme,” after its Mass times listing. It joined dozens of messages that had sprung up in signs and storefronts across the Wisconsin town and neighboring towns cheering the teen’s safety. “Our prayers have been answered and God is good,” parishioner JoAnn Trowbridge told the local NBC affiliate, WEAU, after Jan. 13 Mass at St. Peter. Those prayers continued Jan. 20, when family, friends, parish members and the wider community gathered at St. Peter for an ecumenical service to praise God for Closs’ safe return. More than 300 people filled the church, with overflow seating in the hall. Luke Spehar, a singer-songwriter from St. Joseph in West St. Paul, and Rice Lake, Wisconsin, native Aly Aleigha performed Christian music. “Lord, we are grateful that faith has

triumphed over evil,” said Father John Gerritts, pastor of St. Patrick in Hudson, Wisconsin, and supervising pastor of parishes in the region, as he led the prayer service. Father Gerritts characterized Closs’ return as “one of the great miracles of our time,” and praised the community for enduring trials and tribulations the last two years that included a deadly tornado and the tragedy that befell the Closs family. “You have been a shining star,” Father Gerritts said, “a gift to our society, to our generation. You’ve been courageous. You’ve been a faith-filled people. You can hold your heads high.” St. Peter, in the Diocese of Superior, is where Jayme attended religious education classes and Mass with her parents, James and Denise, who were murdered as she was abducted Oct. 15. Their funeral Mass was celebrated at the church Oct. 27. Jake Patterson, 21, has been charged with the couple’s murder and with kidnapping Jayme, both of which he has confessed to, according to a criminal complaint released Jan. 14 by the Barron County District Attorney. Closs was found in the town of Gordon, about 70 miles from her home in Barron, when she escaped the cabin in the woods where she had been held for 88 days. She met a woman walking a


Jayme Closs, right, pictured here with her aunt, Jennifer Smith, Jan. 11 in Barron, Wis. dog who took her to a nearby home and called police. Closs is currently staying with an aunt. Her grandfather told The Associated Press that she is “in exceptionally good spirits.” At the prayer service, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told the congregation that he and his staff were grateful for Jayme’s strong will to survive. And he thanked the community for the support given to his office. At one point, more than 340 officers ­—

his 87 employees, state and local law enforcement and federal officials — had gathered for a briefing. Barron Foursquare Church Pastor Chad Halverson said all Christians are “part of one amazing family” and added, “We are privileged to lift up our law enforcement tonight.” Diane Tremblay, administrator of the Barron School District, told Jayme, “We are so grateful for you.” And she praised the community’s response to the tragedy. “No wonder this community is so strong,” she said. “There are solid, resilient pillars everywhere.” Superior Bishop James Powers said in a Jan. 11 message to priests and parish leaders that he hoped all parishes would add a “thanksgiving petition to God” during Masses that Jayme was found alive and safe. He said that during her nearly three-month captivity, she had to endure “God knows what kind of physical and mental torture as we kept her in our prayers asking for her safe return.” “We now want to keep her in our prayers asking God’s healing touch on her body, mind and spirit,” he said in a message posted on the Facebook page of the Catholic Herald, Superior’s diocesan newspaper. — Anita Draper, Catholic Herald editor, contributed to this report



JANUARY 24, 2019

Abuse report’s claim of cover-up, mishandling of cases called ‘misleading’ By Julie Asher Catholic News Service The conclusion reached by a Pennsylvania grand jury that six of the state’s Catholic dioceses acted “in virtual lockstep” to cover up abuse allegations and dismiss alleged victims over a 70-year period starting in 1947 is “inaccurate,” “unfair” and “misleading,” said a veteran journalist in an in-depth article for Commonweal magazine. The grand jury report was based on a months-long investigation into alleged abuse by clergy and other Church workers in the Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie, Harrisburg and Greensburg dioceses, and it makes “two distinct charges,” said Peter Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, former religion writer for The New York Times and professor emeritus at Fordham University in New York. The first “concerns predator priests, their many victims and their unspeakable acts” and is, “as far as can be determined, dreadfully true,” he said in the article. Its second charge, he said, has had the “greatest reverberations” yet is not documented by the report: the explosive claim that Church leaders mishandled these abuse claims for decades, moved around many of the accused abusers to different assignments and were dismissive of the alleged victims — all reportedly resulting in a major cover-up. “Stomach-churning violations of the physical, psychological and spiritual integrity of children and young people” are documented in the report, Steinfels

said, as well and how “many of these atrocities could have been prevented” by promptly removing credibly suspected perpetrators from all priestly ministry. It shows that some Church leaders seemed to have an “overriding concern” for protecting the Church’s reputation while disregarding children’s safety and wellbeing, he said. A third or more of the crimes documented in the report, he said, “only came to the knowledge of Church authorities in 2002 or after.” In 2002, the U.S. bishops approved their “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” which mandated automatic removal from ministry when a priest or Church worker is accused of abuse. But Steinfels said that if one reads the full report carefully, “it is clear” that it “does not document the sensational charges contained in its introduction — namely, that over seven decades Catholic authorities, in virtual lockstep, supposedly brushed aside all victims and did absolutely nothing in the face of terrible crimes against boys and girls — except to conceal them.” The grand jury says “‘all’ of these victims ... were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by Church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institutions above all,” he wrote. “Or as the introduction to the report sums it up, ‘Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all.’” “This ugly, indiscriminate and

inflammatory charge, unsubstantiated by the report’s own evidence, to say nothing of the evidence the report ignores, is truly unworthy of a judicial body responsible for impartial justice,” he said. This charge “is contradicted by testimony submitted to the grand jury but ignored — and, I believe, by evidence that the grand jury never pursued,” noted Steinfels. “The report’s conclusions about abuse and cover-up are stated in timeless fashion,” he said. “Whenever change is acknowledged, the language is begrudging.” Steinfels said his conclusions about the report do not “acquit the Catholic hierarchy of all sins, past or present” regarding the abuse crisis. “Personally, I have a substantial list,” he added. But right now, he stated, “the important thing is to restore some factbased reality to the instant mythology that the Pennsylvania report has created.” He said the grand jury could have reached accurate and “hard-hitting findings about what different Church leaders did and did not do,” but chose “a tack more suited” to society’s current “hyperbolic, bumper-sticker, post-truth environment.” Steinfels reached his assessment on the report by reading its “vast bulk,” he said. He noted that some PDFs of the report posted online consist of 884 pages; but other versions include over 450 additional pages consisting of “photocopied responses from dioceses,

former bishops, other diocesan officials and even some accused priests protesting their innocence.” He reviewed “one by one” how hundreds of cases were handled; he tried to match the dioceses’ replies with the grand jury’s charges; and he examined other court documents and spoke “with people familiar with the grand jury’s work, including the attorney general’s office.” Released Aug. 14, the grand jury report was based on an investigation initiated by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office. It linked more than 300 priests and other Church workers to abuse claims during the 70-year period it covered and said alleged victims numbered over 1,000. The day after its release was the feast of the Assumption, a holy day of obligation, Steinfels noted, and millions of Catholics that day “went to Church sick at heart” because of the report. “I was among them,” he added. “No Catholics serious about their faith, indeed no one of any sensitivity, could have read about the report without feeling horror and shame. And anger,” said Steinfels. The report made international headlines, he noted, prompting the Vatican — along with the Pennsylvania dioceses’ bishops and the U.S. Church’s national leadership — to express sorrow and shame. It has prompted attorneys general in other states to pledge the same kind of investigation; Illinois for one has begun a similar probe.

Moderator says Vatican summit will help nations lagging on abuse policies By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service


Look for The Catholic Spirit advertising insert from


in all copies of this issue.

Only about half of the national bishops’ conferences in the world have adopted complete, Vatican-approved guidelines for handling accusations of clerical sexual abuse and promoting child protection, said the Jesuit named to moderate the Vatican’s February summit on abuse. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said about one-quarter of the bishops’ conferences have received feedback on their proposed guidelines from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and are working on the final versions. That leaves 25 percent of conferences “behind for various reasons, among which are different cultural contexts and a scarcity of available competence.” The doctrinal congregation in 2011 had asked every bishops’ conference in the world to develop guidelines for handling accusations of abuse and to submit them for approval by mid-2012. Writing for the Jan. 19 edition of La Civilta Cattolica, the Jesuit journal reviewed by the Vatican before publication, Father Lombardi said the February meeting would be an important occasion for bishops to share best practices and to assist conferences that, because of a lack of funds or expertise, have not launched protection and prevention programs. Pope Francis appointed Father Lombardi to serve as moderator of the general sessions of the meeting


Only about half of the national bishops’ conferences in the world have adopted Vaticanapproved guidelines for handling accusations of clerical sexual abuse and promoting child protection, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, who was named to moderate the February summit on abuse called by Pope Francis. He is pictured in a 2018 photo. Feb. 21-24 of the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches and representatives of the leadership groups of men’s and women’s religious orders to address the abuse crisis. “In the universal Catholic Church, there exists a great richness of experiences, ideas and programs that not only demonstrate the awareness of the reality of sexual abuse, its seriousness and complexity, but also what can and must be done to face it and how to face it,” Father Lombardi wrote in the article. Father Lombardi, who served as head

of the Vatican press office from 2006 to 2016 and is president of the board of directors of the Joseph RatzingerBenedict XVI Foundation, already had written about the February meeting in an article for La Civilta Cattolica in December. In that piece, he called for an end to attitudes that presume clerical sexual abuse is a problem only in some countries. “If the issue is not fully confronted in all of its various dimensions, the Church will continue to find itself facing one crisis after another; the credibility of [the Church] and all of her priests will remain seriously wounded,” and the Church’s ability to proclaim the Gospel will suffer, he had written. In the January article, he used the Canadian bishops’ conference’s 2018 “Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse” as an example of a document ­— born of years of experience and suffering — that goes beyond simple procedures to be followed and addresses what the entire Church community must do to minister to victims, promote justice and protect children in the future. The fact that the Canadian and many other bishops’ conferences and dioceses have taken seriously the commitment to protecting children and assisting survivors means “an attitude of confusion and fear is not justified,” Father Lombardi wrote. “Rather, we must make a firm commitment, with decisiveness and radicality, to the positive attitudes of responsibility, accountability and transparency.”

JANUARY 24, 2019



The future of Catholic education

To face the challenges in Catholic education, local leaders have created a ‘roadmap’ to guide the path forward By Maria Wiering The Catholic Spirit


he Catholic school landscape in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is dynamic. Since 2011, new local nonprofit partners such as the Aim Higher Foundation and Catholic Schools Center of Excellence have formed to support Catholic education through funding scholarships, and excellence and enrollment-boosting efforts, respectively. Other community partners, such as the Catholic Community Foundation, GHR Foundation, Schulze Family Foundation and Catholic Services Appeal Foundation have provided valuable support. Meanwhile, in 2016, the New Jersey-based Healey Education Foundation partnered with six schools in the archdiocese to assist them with advancement and governance innovations. The Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame has also been working with three additional schools to incorporate “blended learning,” an instruction innovation that advocates say helps teachers better meet students’ individual learning needs. That’s not to mention the significant everyday investments of time, talent and treasure made by pastors and parish communities that are directly supporting schools or partnering with schools elsewhere in the archdiocese. Catholic education in the archdiocese is strong, said Jason Slattery, director of the archdiocese’s Office for the Mission of Catholic Education. However, he said, it has tremendous potential to be stronger — and it needs to be. Despite the energy around particular initiatives and other positive indicators — such as recent data showing an uptick in preschool, kindergarten and ninth-grade enrollment — Slattery has heard from principals, pastors and families voicing a litany of similar concerns. Catholic schools need help, they’ve said, with enrollment; with student, teacher and leadership retention; with navigating the pastor-principal relationship; with funding, tuitionassistance and competitive wages; with Catholic identity and academic excellence; with clear governance models; and with access for students from low-income families, minority communities, inner-city neighborhoods and rural areas. And collected data affirm the anecdotes. The challenges are longstanding; past strategic planning efforts in the archdiocese — including one as recent as 2012 — aimed to resolve many of those issues. They are also not unique to the archdiocese; they’re ones with which Catholic schools in almost every part of the country are grappling, Slattery said. What is unique, he said, is the approach archdiocesan leaders are taking to address them. Since 2017, Slattery has been working with local and national Catholic education partners and stakeholders to assess the challenges and establish a framework for strengthening and sustaining Catholic education. Leaders are calling that framework the “Roadmap for Excellence in Catholic Education.” Its work is being driven by five teams, each tasked with exploring particular challenges facing preschool-toeighth-grade schools and identifying best-practice solutions. “The Roadmap is an effort to draw together resources from across the archdiocese to plan the future for meeting the needs of Catholic education,” Slattery said. “It’s not a strategic plan,” he clarified, “but it identifies areas of strategic importance. ... and the archdiocese has a deep desire to try to meet those.” Slattery thinks of the Roadmap as a group of “action teams” who are dedicating significant time to researching particular issues and identifying potential solutions. The five teams are focused on talent

management, curriculum and metrics, access and sustainability, mission schools and governance. (Read more about the teams on page 11.) Once committees identify best practices related to particular action items, they will make recommendations on implementation or further action to the archbishop. The scope of their work is focused on the 79 Catholic grade schools in the archdiocese. The Roadmap’s work is ultimately about Catholic school students and families, Slattery said, and “ensuring that they have a partner in the important work of education, [and] that Catholic education is an opportunity that students and families have today and in the years ahead.” In 2015, the archdiocese closed its longstanding Office for Catholic Schools and launched a new, more tightly focused office — the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education — a recognition, Slattery said, that Catholic education is at the heart of the mission JASON SLATTERY of the Church. Slattery, who had been president of Ave Maria Academy in Maple Grove, was named its director. Part of the new office’s commission was to get to the essentials of what it means for the archdiocese to serve Catholic education effectively, which started from consideration of how parents today look to the Church for a partner in the education of their children. “We had the chance to begin to identify the very critical and important things that the archdiocese could be doing to help to ensure that Catholic education has a strong future,” Slattery said. That process has taken time, he said, for the leaders involved to ensure that the right challenges were being prioritized, he said. “Through that effort we were able to really work with many of our parish and foundation partners to understand more and more what they wanted to contribute to the work of Catholic education, and to listen to them as to where they saw the most pressing needs, and then to begin to build the framework ... for checking off those projects,” Bishop Andrew Cozzens serves as the he said. “We’re in a far better position today to archdiocese’s Vicar for Catholic Education. He address the challenges than we certainly were five described the Roadmap as a way for Archbishop years ago.” Bernard Hebda to bring local Catholic school The effort is led by Archbishop Bernard Hebda, supporters together in a strategic way to ensure they’re working in concert. who has strongly voiced support for Catholic schools in the archdiocese, as well as Bishop Andrew At the forefront of that vision, he said, is that Cozzens, the archdiocese’s Vicar for Catholic schools serve the mission of the Church, which is to Education. (See Q&A with Archbishop Hebda on make the love of Christ known. That’s expressed not page 10.) only through curriculum, sacraments and culture, Doug Milroy, a Twin Cities business executive he said, but also in how students and teachers treat who has volunteered time helping Archbishop one another. Hebda and Bishop Cozzens develop the Roadmap, “It flows into every aspect of the school,” he said. noted that although the framework is designed to guide its leaders through the next three to five years, Catholic and non-Catholic students alike benefit it doesn’t have a definitive end. from a “robust” Catholic identity, he said, which is “I don’t believe [we] will ever stop trying to why many non-Catholic families also choose improve Catholic education,” Milroy said. “However, Catholic schools for their children. “We believe that if we’re true to who we are, even non-Catholics will there’s a lot of work right now to be done that’s benefit from that.” reflected the lack of resources we’ve had over the last several years. And so this Roadmap gets at a lot of the heavy-lifting near-term and creates a really solid foundation that we’ll be able then to build on for years to come.” As urgent as some of the needs are, Slattery cautions against expectations that the Roadmap will yield quick fixes. Instead, Catholics should look for the strength and sustainability of local Catholic schools to increase over the next five, 10 and 15 years. The aim is to do the job thoroughly, he said. Slattery believes the job can be done because of the expertise of the people who are working on the questions and his trust in God’s help. “Even through the challenges that we’ve been facing here in the archdiocese,” he said, alluding to the archdiocese’s recently resolved Chapter 11 bankruptcy, “we have been able to assemble an incredible group of people with tremendous talents and gifts who could be doing any number of things in the world. But ... the thing they’ve pledged they want to do most right now is to help us with Catholic education.” Slattery asked for prayers that Catholic schools in the archdiocese might be places of encounter with Jesus Christ and that the efforts being put into the Roadmap will succeed. “Our history in Catholic ed[ucation] can be traced often along those lines of: The Church faced significant challenges, the Lord called people forth,” he said. “He supplied the grace. They acted. And we overcame those challenges, and I think it’s very similar today, even with the humble beginnings of the Roadmap.”




Archbishop Hebda: Catholic education needs to be The Catholic Spirit asked Archbishop Bernard Hebda to describe the Roadmap for Excellence in Catholic Education and to explain how he hopes it shapes Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He shared his responses by email.

Q. What is the Roadmap for Catholic education? A. It is essentially a tool that will guide and coordinate the strategic approach of the archdiocese over the next several years to the important work of Catholic schools.

Q. What is the goal? A. Mothers and fathers need partners in the

education of their children. Through a united effort across the archdiocese, parishes partner with families in making Catholic schools available and accessible. The Roadmap for Catholic Education will help the archdiocese sequence steps over the next several years in an effort to ensure that parents and parishes have support that they can count on in Catholic schools now and in the years ahead.

Q. What has been your role in shaping it? A. While the Roadmap has been the product of broad and meaningful consultation with Catholic educators, pastors and foundations along with local and national experts, I have been involved at every step and am personally committed to seeing this process to its conclusion. I feel privileged to have had this opportunity to shape and lead this important effort. It is astonishing to see the level of interest and excitement that we have encountered through this effort. I am excited when I think about the Roadmap shaping the work of Catholic education in the coming years.


How would you describe the current landscape of Catholic schools in the archdiocese?

A. Through the commitment of our parishes and the

help of community partners, our Catholic schools continue meeting the demands of families in a highly competitive education landscape. A clear key to success for a school in these circumstances is finding ways to emphasize what makes our schools exceptional: an integrated Catholic education rooted in Jesus Christ that seeks excellence for every student in every area of their young lives. We would like to level the playing field for families seeking a Catholic education by finding new ways of making Catholic schools accessible and sustainable.

Q. What do you see as our schools’ core challenges? A. The Roadmap was in fact

The Roadmap for Catholic Education is designed to coordinate and engage leadership and resources today in an effort to meet our challenges and capitalize on our opportunities.

designed to meet the core challenges facing Catholic schools through five areas of priority focus: talent management, curriculum and metrics, access and sustainability, mission schools and their governance, and local governance. These areas of priority focus are designed to address the core challenges that have emerged over the past two decades.


What do you see as our schools’ core strengths and how does the Roadmap address or leverage them?

Archbishop Bernard Hebda greets Catholic elementary school students following the Mass of the Holy Spirit at U.S. Bank Stadium in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis attended. The event was organized by the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence, whic


Catholic schools are places where students are challenged to grow in all areas of their lives. These are schools where the bar is set high for student achievement and students are encouraged to dream big. The heart of Catholic schools is that they are places where students have an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ in the classroom. Appreciation for the quality and richness of that opportunity is a strength that is simultaneously the starting point and the end point for our Roadmap.

Q. How does the Roadmap differ from a strategic plan?


The Roadmap was not designed to be a substitute for a strategic plan; rather, it is a strategic tool that allows us to roll up our sleeves and get started on addressing some of the fundamental challenges that Catholic education has been facing for years. There are issues such as the training, leadership development, and recruitment and retention of Catholic school principals — which the Roadmap calls “talent management” — that even with our limited resources we need to begin addressing today. Strategic planning for the archdiocesan system of Catholic schools is needed as well, and it is certainly something that we will need to address in the next five years. Work on the Roadmap now will help better

position us for future strategic planning effort


Why is this Roadmap necessary in ge Why now?

A. The Roadmap for Catholic Education is

to coordinate and engage leadership and resou in an effort to meet our challenges and capita opportunities. No effort should be spared in h ensure that Catholic education is an option fo and parents. Our parishes, pastors, teachers an leaders need our help.


Will Catholic schools experience the this Roadmap in similar ways, or will the im depend on their unique strengths and chall

A. Trusting in the unfailing help of God’s gr

we can rely on the aphorism that a rising tide lif


How many Catholic schools have you in the archdiocese? What is your impressio Catholic schools from those visits?


I have visited about half of our elemen schools and all of our Catholic high schools. T joy-filled schools where the faith and enthusi students and faculty are palpable, and the pur


JANUARY 24, 2019 • 11

Church priority

The Roadmap for Excellence in Catholic Education includes five teams tasked with tackling its five focus areas: talent management, curriculum and metrics, access and sustainability, mission schools and local governance. Those teams are leveraging the expertise of local education leaders as well as experts from across the country. A member of each team spoke with The Catholic Spirit about the scope of the team’s work.

Talent Management “Schools, like any institution, will rise and fall with their leaders,” said Therese Coons, a board member of The Seminaries of St. Paul. “And we know leaders are not born; leaders are made — through formation and education.” To that end, Coons and other members of the Roadmap’s Talent Management Team are exploring Catholic school leadership recruitment, hiring and on-boarding, professional development, performance management and retention. She said she expects the new Institute for Catholic School Leadership at the St. Paul Seminary to play a role in their aims, as it “will be key to providing formed and educated leaders for our schools.”

Curriculum and Metrics The Curriculum and Metrics Team is ruminating on questions of what makes Catholic education entirely distinctive and then how to measure that, said member Michael Naughton, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas. Catholic schools are not public schools with religion class; rather, he said, the truths of the faith should permeate every subject, from math to science to language arts, so that students develop a sacramental imagination, or a Catholic way of seeing the world with wonder and awe. Catholic curriculum should be academically excellent, connect faith and reason, and also connect each area of knowledge, he said. Catholic schools also need tools to help them assess their curricula with appropriate metrics, which is a key focus of his team’s work, Naughton said. “That’s going to be the tricky challenge because that’s not an easy thing to measure,” he said of evaluating how faith and reason are infused into the classroom. “We’re looking for the ‘yeast in the dough.’”

Access and Sustainability “What we’re trying to do is ... ensure that every child that wants access to a Catholic education can achieve that,” said Jean Houghton, Aim Higher Foundation president and a member of the Roadmap’s Access and Sustainability Team. The team is exploring the barriers some families face in obtaining a Catholic education for their children — which are primarily financial, Houghton said — as well as questions of how schools can achieve overall financial sustainability and growth. “We’re looking at best practices across the entire United States,” Houghton said. “I believe that we will be able to come up with solutions that will help not only the schools but ultimately the kids.” DAVE HRBACEK | THE CATHOLIC SPIRIT

n Minneapolis Oct. 10. More than 12,000 students from 79 Catholic elementary schools in ch supports enrollment and excellence efforts at local Catholic elementary schools.



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The Roadmap identifies Catholic education leadership as one of the top priorities, and the new Institute for Catholic School Leadership at the St. Paul Seminary has launched to help meet that objective. (See story on page 12.) Why is this so important?


It takes more than goodwill to be a great Catholic school principal or leader — there are skills that need to be developed and a faith-based outlook on life that needs to permeate professional competence. I’m thrilled that the new institute, moreover, will be a resource not only for our future lay leaders but also for our seminarians and young priests.


Have your own experiences of Catholic education shaped the Roadmap process?

A. My own experience of Catholic education (at the

elementary and high school levels) is the context for my belief that Catholic education needs to be a priority not only for parents, but also for the Church. I am so grateful for what I learned about Christ and his Church in the course of my Catholic education. I think that my Catholic education taught me to love learning and to think critically.

Mission Schools and their Governance The Mission Schools Team’s work centers on the archdiocese’s “mission schools,” or schools in the archdiocese that primarily serve underprivileged students, most of whom cannot pay full tuition. Part of the team’s job is to determine how to define “mission schools” and determine which local schools are part of this special category, and then how best to serve their unique needs, said member Father Nate Wills, a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross who works for the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame. A graduate of St. Joseph Catholic School in West St. Paul and St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Father Wills said he and his colleagues “believe deeply in the power of Catholic education and especially the way it can transform lives and help kids to see a great future and to know the Lord,” he said. “The more we can do to support those [mission] schools and build them up, the better off we all are.”

Governance of Catholic Schools The work of the Roadmap’s Local Governance Team is twofold: identify best practices regarding Catholic school governance models, and clarify and strengthen the relationship between Catholic schools and the archdiocese, especially the archbishop, said team member Sister John Mary Fleming, a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tennessee, who recently completed a six-year term as executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. She said her team is guided by the Catholic social teaching principles of subsidiarity and solidarity. “There are many different models [of Catholic school governance] functioning in the archdiocese right now,” she said. “This committee is helping the archdiocese to look at those and hold up what is really good and then clarify what needs to be clarified.” Leaders are exploring how the needs of schools may be met by clarifying the governance role of the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education. — Maria Wiering



JANUARY 24, 2019

Forming Catholic principals with Catholic principles St. Paul Seminary launches new Institute for Catholic School Leadership; director brings wealth of research, experience

ROADMAP CONNECTION Schuttloffel is a member of the Catholic education Roadmap’s Talent Management Team, which focuses on leadership development. “I would see the Institute [for Catholic School Leadership] being respondent to what the archdiocese sees as their needs,” she said.

By Maria Wiering The Catholic Spirit


hen Merylann J. Schuttloffel was preparing to move her family from northwest Iowa to a small town on the Louisiana-Arkansas border, she asked her husband, who had already begun a new job there, to stop at the local Catholic school and enroll their two elementary-aged sons. When he returned to Iowa to help with the family’s move, he brought her a box packed with third-grade books — and he told her she had a new job as the school’s third-grade teacher. “I asked him, ‘What kind of school did you enroll our kids where they don’t even interview?’” she recalled. “I was a little horrified.” But Schuttloffel, a teacher, took the job. When she met the principal, a religious sister, the sister told Schuttloffel that she would be the only Catholic teacher at the school — and that’s why she was hired sight unseen. That teaching experience in the small, sparsely Catholic Arkansas town piqued Schuttloffel’s interest in the idea of Catholic identity, she said, years before she became a leading researcher on questions of Catholic education leadership. She continued to teach in Catholic schools throughout the Midwest, and, after earning advanced degrees in education, spent three years as principal of a Catholic grade school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Then she spent 22 years in teaching and research at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Now Schuttloffel — known widely as “Dr. Mimi” — is applying that expertise as founding director of a new institute at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, the Institute for Catholic School Leadership. Officially launched this month, the institute will offer Catholic formation for Catholic school principals and aspiring principals. The institute is preparing to welcome this summer its first 20-student cohort. They will work toward a 14-month, graduate-level certificate in Catholic school leadership. Its members — mostly lay men and women — will live at St. Paul Seminary during an initial fourweek summer session. Then, they will receive mentoring and complete online courses remotely during the academic year before returning to SPS for a second four-week summer program. Before joining the institute’s faculty, Schuttloffel had been a consultant on the initiative, which is a joint endeavor between SPSSOD and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Office for the Mission of Catholic Education. Schuttloffel is “one of the foremost recognized national and international experts in Catholic school leadership today,” said Kenneth Snyder, SPSSOD’s


Merylann “Mimi” Schuttloffel will use her expertise in Catholic education in her role as founding director of the Institute for Catholic School Leadership, a new institute at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity that officially launched this month. academic dean, noting both her academic accomplishments and experience teaching in Catholic schools at every level. “She really has a very impressive background and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area to the program. We are delighted and really very blessed to have someone of her caliber leading the institute.” Jason Slattery, director of the Office for the Mission of Catholic Education, called Schuttloffel taking the helm of the fledgling institute “providential.” “There are hardly three scholars in the United States who have done so much extensive work and been so published on Catholic schools and Catholic school leadership as Dr. Mimi,” he said. “It’s a great grace for us.”

‘Contemplative leadership’ Schuttloffel grew up in Detroit Lakes and attended Holy Rosary grade school there before graduating from Mount St. Benedict Academy in Crookston in 1967. She attended the College of St. Teresa in Winona, where she earned degrees in elementary education and French. In 1989, she earned a master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Tulsa, and in 1992, she earned a doctorate in educational administration and research, also at the University of Tulsa. At CUA, she served in several roles in its Department of Education, including the director of the Catholic Educational Leadership Programs. She was also a fellow of CUA’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies. She retired from CUA Dec. 31, 2018. Schuttloffel has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters, as well as several books on Catholic education. Among the books are two reports on the future of Catholic education published by the National Catholic Educational Association. Her first publication with the NCEA was her 1999 book “Character and the Contemplative Principal.” Its topic — what she calls “contemplative leadership” — is her core research interest and will be at the crux of the

new Institute for Catholic School Leadership, she said. It is rooted in her doctoral dissertation, she said, which explored the influence of a teacher’s philosophy of education on how he or she functions in the classroom. Her interest shifted to the same question regarding principals, and how their belief systems impact decision-making and influence staff members. Contemplative leadership is “a model of leadership that integrates reflection and decision-making specific to the Catholic context,” Schuttloffel said. “By going through that process as a leader, then articulating that process to your teachers and your school community, you start to shape a school community that is really a witness to the Catholic faith, and the students are hopefully exposed to that,” she explained. Schuttloffel has also done national studies on recruiting, preparing and retaining Catholic school leaders, and she’s found that there is a “need and desire for school leaders or those aspiring to become school leaders to feel more prepared and more formed for the role of spiritual leader in the Catholic school,” she said, which is the aim of the Institute for Catholic School Leadership through classroom instruction and faith formation experiences. Principals who are contemplative leaders are better able to articulate the mission of their school and what makes it distinctive, she added, which is helpful for their teachers and families, and for establishing school priorities and culture. “If the people inside the school have a Catholic identity, the school will have a Catholic identity,” she said. “It’s a question of forming the teachers and the principal in their Catholic identity so that they can share that in the school community.” It’s not a stretch, she said, to see her new role with the Institute for Catholic School Leadership as the culmination of her life’s work. And while there are other university-based Catholic leadership institutes in the United States, they tend to emphasize academics over formation, Schuttloffel said. Additionally, to her knowledge, the Institute for Catholic School Leadership is the first to be housed in a seminary, and she thinks that aspect is crucial to the project. “I have been very interested in the pastor/principal relationship, and that dynamic is so key,” she said. “We hope to have opportunities to do some work in that way to support principals and pastors through the institute.” She added: “What’s attractive for me is that this institute is going to try to pull together the various components that I think will make for a very strong formational experience for those individuals who come on board.”

JANUARY 24, 2019


New office for linking Latino families to Catholic schools opens on Lake Street By Matthew Davis The Catholic Spirit In 2017, Lorena Trejo heard a radio spot pitching Catholic schools on a secular Spanish radio station. It piqued her interest, and she reached out to the source, the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence, which focuses on Catholic elementary school excellence and advancement in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Now her two children attend St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Savage. The Edina-based CSCOE is hoping to reach more families like the Trejos by expanding its outreach to the Latino Catholic community with a new satellite office in a popular Latino shopping center along Lake Street in Minneapolis. Leading the office is Maricruz Hernandez, CSCOE Latino enrollment coordinator. It was her voice Trejo heard on the air, and she helped Trejo connect with St. John the Baptist and secure tuition assistance. Hernandez has been on a mission to close the gap between the vast number of young Latino Catholics and the small Latino presence in Catholic schools. After enrolling her children at Community of Saints Regional Catholic School in West St. Paul, Hernandez connected with CSCOE first as a volunteer. Then, in 2017, she took the newly established enrollment coordinator position and helped 54 families enroll nearly 100 students for the 2018-2019 school year ­— a 9 percent increase in Latino Catholic


Maricruz Hernandez, Latino enrollment coordinator for the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence, is working to increase the number of Latino students in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. student enrollment at the 79 Catholic elementary schools in the archdiocese. After her successful first year, CSCOE opened a satellite office for Latino enrollment Jan. 4 at Plaza Mexico, 417 E. Lake Street. It received a blessing from Father James Peterson, parochial administrator of Immaculate Conception in Columbia Heights who previously ministered for three years in Venezuela. CSCOE chose to locate its satellite office in Plaza Mexico on Lake Street to be in the middle of a Latino community. “It’s almost like Our Lady of Guadalupe: She could have gone and appeared to the rich, but she went where the poor were because she wanted to raise [up] those people,”

Hernandez said. “So if you want to reach Latinos, you need to be where Latinos are.” Staff members visit parishes and Latino communities to meet potential Catholic school families. After connecting with families, they help them find the right school and secure financial assistance. CSCOE leaders say cost is the largest perceived obstacle for Latino families seeking Catholic education. “Most of them, at least with anyone who came from another country, have the idea that it’s very, very expensive,” Hernandez said. A 2015 Boston College report showed that, nationally, more than half of Catholics under 18 are Latino, but only 17 percent attend a Catholic school. The Latino population in Minnesota has increased by nearly 20 percent from 2010 through 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Seventy-one percent of them are Catholic. On the first day the new office was open, a walk-in client who had been looking around at the other nearby businesses asked Hernandez about Catholic schools. Hernandez said the family now plans to tour a Catholic school. She hopes the Plaza Mexico location builds more bridges with Latino communities, especially as the mall fills up on Fridays and Saturdays. “This place has so much to offer to Latinos that they come from [every]where,” Hernandez said.



www.donaldsunifrom.com (651) 776-2723

You’re Invited!

Winter Blast St. Jerome Fun Night and Open House

Come meet the teachers, learn the programming and experience the community

Free Teddy Bear Band Concert (6 p.m. Gym)

Dinner will be provided: pizza, hot chocolate, apple cider, and soft serve ice cream bar

Tuesday, January 29, 5–7 p.m. St. Jerome is 5 minutes from downtown St. Paul!

St. Jerome School 384 Roselawn Ave. Maplewood, MN 55117 www.st.jeromeschool.org


Please bring your kinder-to-be. There will be activities for our new kindergartners and the opportunity to peek into classrooms CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION 651-690-2477 2017 Bohland Avenue | www.HighlandCatholic.org



JANUARY 24, 2019


Dome team Seniors Teddy Allen, left, and Danika Darula work on building a geodesic dome for an Intro to Engineering class at Bethlehem Academy in Faribault Jan. 17. The class is designed to give students a hands-on look at engineering, along with exposure to theoretical concepts. Teacher Gary Busse, who began working at the school three years ago, added the practical component to the class to help make engineering come alive. “I’m hoping to get students excited about science,” he said. “If I don’t produce engineers, I’m hoping at least 50 percent of my students will go into some kind of technology. That’s my goal.” He also noted that he is glad that his class has attracted both girls and boys.


JANUARY 24, 2019



Sister disappointed about not being able to address president By Rose Ybarra Catholic News Service


ister Norma Pimentel was “truly disappointed” after not being given an opportunity to speak during a roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump during his Jan. 10 visit to McAllen, Texas. The president traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to make his case for a southern border wall and other security measures amid a partial government shutdown that began over funding for the wall. Calling the president’s visit “quite an important moment,” Sister Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in the Diocese of Brownsville, lamented that representatives of local agencies working with migrant people and local elected officials were not invited to speak during the discussion. “I was looking forward to this roundtable discussion, but there was no discussion unfortunately,” Sister Pimentel told The Valley Catholic, newspaper of the Brownsville Diocese. “There were certain people selected to speak, people who support the president’s agenda.” “We would like for President Trump to know who we are and what the reality is here on our border,” said Sister Pimentel, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus. Trump arrived about 12:45 p.m. local time, along with Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and White House staff. Supporters of Trump as well as protesters gathered on opposite sides of a street near the airport awaiting the president’s arrival. Trump was taken to a nearby U.S. Border Patrol Station for what was billed as a roundtable discussion with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, local officials and key players of the immigration story such as Sister Pimentel, who has spearheaded efforts to assist more than 100,000 immigrants since June 2014. Sister Pimentel oversees the Catholic Charities-run Humanitarian Respite Center, which serves migrant


Sister Norma Pimentel, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, is the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas. She welcomed President Donald Trump to the border Jan. 10 in a newspaper op-ed and invited him to see the center’s work in assisting people from Central America who are seeking asylum in the U.S. She is pictured along a border wall in late February 2018. people. When asked what she would have said to the president if she had been recognized, she said, “I would definitely say that I appreciate and understand the importance of border security and keeping our border safe ­— that’s so important. We must support our Border Patrol and their job to defend and protect our borders. We must know who enters our country.” Sister Pimentel noted she has a good working relationship with the U.S. Border Patrol and other government agencies. “When I walked into the meeting room, all the Border Patrol agents present, even the ones from D.C.


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were happy to meet me and talk to me,” she said. “It really demonstrates the importance of how we on the ground work together as a community — city officials, ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], the volunteers — to the realities we face at the border. “We recognize, yes, it’s important to keep our border safe to support our Border Patrol, but we also recognize there are lots of families, innocent victims of violence that are suffering,” she said. “We as a community are responding to help them. It’s a part of who we are as Americans: compassionate, caring.” Sister Pimentel continued: “That’s a side that unfortunately our president was not open to listen to. I would have loved to have the opportunity to personally invite him to the respite center, to meet the families, to meet the children. As Catholics, as people of faith, we feel God has asked us to support, defend and protect all human life, and that’s what we’re doing here at the respite center.” In an op-ed posted to The Washington Post website Jan. 9, Sister Pimentel invited Trump to visit the center, which opened in 2014 to provide assistance in response to the influx of immigrants arriving from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and other countries. Sister Pimentel said the center offers shelter, meals and showers for people who have been released after being apprehended by authorities as they crossed the border into the U.S. On some days as few as 20 people arrive, she wrote, adding, “Other days it’s closer to 300.” In her column, she invited the president to see how the center cooperates with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to ensure the needs of the newcomers are met. The center is staffed with volunteers who offer food, clothing, toiletries, baby supplies and travel packets, which include supplies for their journey. These immigrants, mostly women and children, already have been detained and released by immigration authorities. They have been granted permission to continue to their destinations outside of the Rio Grande Valley and given a date for a court appearance.



Not only heard, but understood

We are all called to proclaim the reign of God to our family, coworkers and to anyone God brings our way — and we must adapt our language and method of delivery to suit our listeners’ capacity.

Having taught in the St. Paul Seminary for 15 years, I am regularly approached by the faithful about how a recently-ordained priest or deacon preached. They ask me, “Did you teach him that?” “It depends,” I evade. “Did you like it? If so, yes, I taught him that. If not, then no.” In reality, every teacher — indeed, every coach, parent and boss training others — knows there is a difference between what he or she intends to teach, and what the other actually learns. “What I said” is not the same as “what you heard.” I can talk till I’m blue in the face, but if the other doesn’t understand, little is communicated. “Communication,” wrote Claude Shannon, “is a receiver phenomenon.” In the Nazareth synagogue, after reading that the Messiah would “proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord,” Jesus puts the scroll down, all fix their eyes on him, and they wait for him to speak. “Today,” he proclaims, “this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21). Jesus’ subtlety is often overlooked. He does not say the prophesy is fulfilled as he is speaking; the locus of fulfillment is not in what he says but in what they hear. We know how it feels to fall short of the ideal. “Do as I say, not as I do” is an implicit acknowledgment of our shortcomings. If anyone could insist, “Because I said so,” Jesus could. As the incarnate Son of God, he practiced what he preached. But even he didn’t defer to his authority. Instead, he realized that listeners had to receive what he was saying, or it would remain unfulfilled. So he adapted his speech to be intelligible to his hearers. He used images and language they could understand, such as farmers and seeds and fish and sheep. “No one ever spoke like this man” even his detractors said of him (Jn 7:46). This principle is so important for preaching that the U.S.

bishops’ 1982 document on homiletics used this passage for its title: “Fulfilled in Your Hearing.” But it’s important not only for preachers at Mass. We are all called to proclaim the reign of God to our family, coworkers and to anyone God brings our way — and we must adapt our language and method of delivery to suit our listeners’ capacity. This is what Ezra did in the first reading. The Chosen People had been in exile so long they could no longer understand their mother language. So “Ezra read clearly from the book of the law of God, interpreting it so that all could understand what was read” (Neh 8:8). Likewise, since many Latinos are immigrating into the United States, we urge seminarians to learn Spanish to communicate with the faithful in their own tongue. Some have a special gift for communication. St. Paul writes, “Some people God has designated in the Church to be ... prophets [and others] teachers” (I Cor 12:28). Many are familiar with the extraordinary talents of Bishop Fulton Sheen, Bishop Robert Barron and Father Michael Schmitz. They are successful because they adapt their message to be understood. Yet I think what motivates any great speaker is not pride in a job well done (appropriate as that may be) but love for the listener. Jesus was more concerned for his hearers than he was for his own status. It’s not about us; it’s about them. Because we love them, we adapt our preaching so they can understand, and the Gospel can be fulfilled in their hearing, too. Father Margevicius is director of worship for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.


Why the pelican with chicks is a symbol for the Eucharist

An image of a mother pelican with her chicks is carved into the capital on top of a pillar at the Cenacle, the upper room on Mount Zion in Jerusalem where tradition holds that Jesus shared the Last Supper with his apostles and instituted

the Eucharist. It is the only artwork in the entire room, and it is singularly appropriate because it is a symbol for Jesus and the Eucharist. Mother pelicans lay their eggs in a nest, and after the chicks hatch, the mothers leave the nest to hunt for food, return and feed the chicks. Many birds feed their young with worms. Pelicans usually live near the water, and their prey tend to be small fish, frog tadpoles, crayfish or salamanders. iSTOCK In times of drought the marshes and streams might dry up, or something might cause the fish in the lake to die, and the mother pelican is unable to find food. Her chicks are delicate, need to be fed daily, and without food are quickly in danger of starvation and death. Faced with this crisis, the mother pelican uses its beak to poke holes in its breast,


which causes blood to come out, and the chicks are nourished with their mother’s blood. The mother dies and the chicks survive. Christians see parallels between the mother pelican and her chicks and Jesus and his followers. The mother pelican represents Jesus, the chicks represent us. The chicks dwell in the safety of the nest, believers dwell in the safety of the Church. The mother is the head of the nest, and Jesus is the head of the Church (Eph 1:22). The mother has an intense concern for her chicks and it goes against her nature to allow any of them to perish, and Jesus has a great love for us and wants none of us to perish. When food is in short supply, the pelican pierces its breast with its sharp, pointed beak, and the side of Jesus was pierced by a sharp, pointed lance (Jn 19:34a). Blood flows from the pelican’s breast, and blood flowed from Jesus’ side (Jn 19:34b). The mother’s blood is drink for her chicks, and the blood of Jesus is “true drink” (Jn 6:55b). The mother gives her life that her chicks might live, and Jesus laid down his life that we might live (Jn 15:13). The mother’s blood saves the lives of the chicks, and the blood of Jesus is salvation and eternal life (Jn 6:54) for those who receive it. Because of these striking similarities, the mother pelican and her chicks have come to represent the Eucharist, as well as redemption and salvation. A depiction of a mother pelican and her chicks frequently is on display in places associated with the Eucharist: the doors of the tabernacle; the front of the altar; a hanging in front of the JORISVO lectern or ambo; a stained glass window in the sanctuary area; the decorative design on a chalice, chasuble or cope; or on the ends of pews. Father Van Sloun is pastor of St. Bartholomew in Wayzata. Read more of his writing at CatholicHotdish.com.

JANUARY 24, 2019

DAILY Scriptures Sunday, January 27 Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Neh 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10 1 Cor 12:12-30 Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21 Monday, January 28 St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church Heb 9:15, 24-28 Mk 3:22-30 Tuesday, January 29 Heb 10:1-10 Mk 3:31-35 Wednesday, January 30 Heb 10:11-18 Mk 4:1-20 Thursday, January 31 St. John Bosco, priest Heb 10:19-25 Mk 4:21-25 Friday, February 1 Heb 10:32-39 Mk 4:26-34 Saturday, February 2 Presentation of the Lord Mal 3:1-4 Heb 2:14-18 Lk 2:22-40 Sunday, February 3 Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Jer 1:4-5, 17-19 1 Cor 12:31–13:3 Lk 4:21-30 Monday, February 4 Heb 11:32-40 Mk 5:1-20 Tuesday, February 5 St. Agatha, virgin and martyr Heb 12:1-4 Mk 5:21-43 Wednesday, February 6 St. Paul Miki and companions, martyrs Heb 12:4-7, 11-15 Mk 6:1-6 Thursday, February 7 Heb 12:18-19, 21-24 Mk 6:7-13 Friday, February 8 Heb 13:1-8 Mk 6:14-29 Saturday, February 9 Heb 13:15-17, 20-21 Mk 6:30-34 Sunday, February 10 Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Is 6:1-2a, 3-8 1 Cor 15:1-11 Lk 5:1-11

JANUARY 24, 2019



After 2018: Does the Church have a ‘bigger agenda?’ In the aftermath of this past summer’s revelations of sex abuse and cover-up in the Church, there is a tendency for Catholics to slip into an either-or way of thinking about how to respond: Either we cannot “get back to work” until we have adequately addressed the crisis, or, we cannot spare the time to respond to the scandals because the Church’s mission is too urgent. But this is a false dichotomy. What we need is an integrated response, marked by conversion, deeper faithfulness, and increased love of God and neighbor. “The Pope has a bigger agenda,” Cardinal Blase Cupich recently responded to a reporter’s question about the abuse crisis. “He’s got to get on with other things — of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the Church. We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this.” Some have responded to Cardinal Cupich’s comment (and others like it) by arguing exactly the opposite: that the Church should not invest its resources in anything else until the abuse is cleaned up. Catholic teaching and missionary credibility have been so undermined, so the argument goes, that it all must be put on hold until we solve this particular problem. In both cases, something essential is abandoned: on the one hand, the urgent need for reform within the Church; on the other, the equally urgent call of Christ to proclaim the Good News and to serve our neighbor.


Basics to arming men of integrity

Boot camp — basic training — necessitates commitment, intensity and perseverance for the specific discipline, training program or organization to succeed. And success is measured by how well partakers transfer their skills beyond the basics of this initial training. When we mention “boot camp,” our reference point is often the armed services. Those camps offer physical, intellectual, emotional and psychological challenges to prepare recruits to serve God and country — for the primary sake of building an effective national defense. Because I have experienced basic training in the Marine Corps, it is descriptively useful for me to use military vernacular when extrapolating and speaking to a much more serious and challenging discipline: spiritual warfare. The perspective of embracing a strong spiritual defense is certainly as paramount to mankind now as it was in the times of the Old and New Testament. Twelve weeks of boot camp initiated me into a fouryear tour of duty. Basic training breaks down shortcomings and builds up proficiencies to better serve and protect the USA. We Christians in this pilgrimage of life, however, have a much more difficult mission and lengthy journey: to “make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). And to know, love and serve God has eternal ramifications. The last I checked, eternity is a long time. Hence, there is good reason to heed the words of Jesus as he trained his Twelve Apostles to take courage under

Although it seems we must choose one side or the other, this actually is not the case. It is not an eitheror scenario. We need deep renewal in the Church — renewal that can root out sin and corruption, reform broken structures, and restore our relationships with God and our neighbor. To be clear, there is no task more urgent right now — no bigger agenda — than for the Church to purify itself and restore its credibility; there are practical steps to be taken. Implementing new structures of accountability is necessary. Removing persons from ministry who harm others (or protected those who did) is necessary. Atoning for sin and combating a culture of corruption are essential. But we are not dispensed from worshipping God and loving our neighbor while doing so. Our standing orders to serve the poor, teach the faith, evangelize and administer the sacraments are still in effect. What good would it do, for example, if the Church cancelled its Sunday liturgies until further notice while we respond to the crisis? “The work of the Church” must indeed go on. We are still responsible to contribute to the common good by witnessing to the faith, proposing a way of life informed by the Gospel and serving the most vulnerable in our midst. And that includes engaging our public officials to enact policies that serve human dignity. Politics is, after all, an important mode of service and one of the highest forms of charity, as Pope Francis outlines in his 2019 World Day of Peace message. Although “one-stop” solutions to the challenges we face as a Church are often appealing, they rarely bring about lasting change. It would be unwise to go into lockdown mode, sacrificing apostolic work, teaching and preaching, social ministries and public engagement in the meantime. In other words, we have to continue to preach the Gospel in word and in deed. With humility, for sure — but still we must bring the Gospel to every periphery and place in the ways that the Church has always done, most notably through the works of mercy. Civic engagement, in particular, is an important expression of our love and faithfulness to God, his

persecution while following his ways: “And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna” (Mt 10:28). Both physical and spiritual warfare were an ever-present threat in the Roman Empire, yet our Lord focused his apostles on what mattered most: the salvation of souls. Chances are that most of us in this lifetime will not have to face physical dangers in our evangelistic efforts, although there is no guarantee. Arming ourselves as spiritual leaders, protectors and providers, however, does take determination, conviction and follow-up. And that can require some physicality in addition to mental toughness. Committing to a lifetime of prayer, study and action can be a daunting endeavor in a secular world — especially one in which we are caring for others who are under our watch. Whether you consider it basic training or continuing education, learning how to properly navigate sacred Scripture is a good start to help witness, teach and practice what you preach. A series of Catholic Watchmen-sponsored, one-day Bible Bootcamps under the “drill” instructor Jeff Cavins have garnered enthusiastic responses from participants. Overwhelming, yet simple, was one short summary from a great friend of mine who recently attended the event at St. Maximilian Kolbe in Delano. “All this history woven into the story of salvation made it comprehensible,” the high school teacher said. “Just a snapshot — and yet it became more clear six hours later.” Six hours — now that is a compact recruit training program! After Marine boot camp — similar to other U.S. armed forces — you prepare for a military occupational specialty (MOS): artillery specialist, chaplain, infantry, machine-gunner, mechanic, pilot and the list goes on. It will be your primary lot in military life. Yet, there is always room for movement and improvement on the

Pray for, meet with your legislators Catholics from across Minnesota are coming together for life and human dignity Feb. 19 at Catholics at the Capitol. This day of prayer, inspiration, education and advocacy will equip you to be an effective witness for life and dignity in the public arena. You will hear the inspirational witness of actor Jim Caviezel, Archbishop Charles Chaput, music missionary Danielle Rose and EWTN radio host Gloria Purvis. You will also learn about policy issues affecting life and dignity, and then meet with your legislators at the State Capitol. Seating is limited so don’t delay! To register and to find more details on busing, the day’s schedule, student pricing, ways to spread the word and sponsorship opportunities visit catholicsatthecapitol.org. Registration closes Feb. 3.

people and the world in these difficult times. We do, in fact, as Cardinal Cupich noted, need to keep working in the public arena on environmental initiatives, on comprehensive immigration reform, and on passing good laws that protect life and support human flourishing. This is not ignoring the ecclesial crisis and embracing some “bigger agenda.” Instead, by coupling much needed internal reform with our sustained presence in the public square, we can restore the evangelical credibility of the Church and thereby fulfill the call to be light and salt to the world. Spangenberg is a communications associate for the Minnesota Catholic Conference.

job, as there is in any field of work — including God’s work. And that includes advancing your skills in spiritual warfare, building upon your basic training. Patrick Madrid — the renowned American Catholic apologist, author, radio and television host — started with the basics. As our guest speaker at the upcoming Archdiocesan Men’s Conference March 23, he will offer strategies and tactics based on Scripture to help arm men of integrity to engage in spiritual warfare. I expect them to be compelling, compassionate and convincing — rooted in faith, hope and charity. Trust God. He knows what your spiritual occupational specialty (SOS) is. Bible Boot Camps, the Archbishop Flynn Catechetical Institute, or other intense spiritual and biblical undertakings will equip and arm you to better serve the Lord. The opportunities are abundant: apologist, catechist, clergy, lay leadership, religious life, street evangelist, teacher, witness, etc. Pray about it. Talk to your priest, deacon or spiritual director. Most important, don’t forget to talk to your family. Like my friend, in his own words: “I simply want to have answers for my children as they grow.” And that is “esprit de corps” to the Catholic Watchmen movement. “In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:16-17). Semper fidelis. Deacon Bird ministers at St. Joseph in Rosemount and assists the Catholic Watchmen movement of the archdiocese’s Office of Evangelization. As a permanent deacon ordained in December 2017, he and his wife, DiAnn, are also members of All Saints in Lakeville. They have two married children and four grandchildren. Reach him at gordonbird@rocketmail.com. Learn about the archdiocese’s Catholic Watchmen initiative at rediscover.archspm.org/thecatholic-watchmen or at facebook.com/thecatholicwatchmen.




The spiritual exercise of dropping your daily nets

My house is a spectacular mess. I keep waiting for someone from the government to show up in a hazmat suit and give me a citation for violations against human health and public safety before hauling me away to pig-pen prison. This is not what I would hope for, of course. It’s just an unusually busy season with many unusual demands — moving parents into assisted living in another state, working, managing a few of my own health issues, scheduling a minor surgery and the like. Filling out insurance forms has become a parttime job. Try as I may to keep my head above the mayhem, I am failing, and the only thing God seems to be interested in telling me is this: Be grateful and pray without ceasing. He doesn’t seem all that concerned about the cleanliness of my house, whether or not my Christmas cards arrived on time (or at all), or whether or not I’ve cooked dinner from scratch or purchased it at the local supermarket deli. (The clerks there now know me by name.) Which brings me to the spiritual

exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, that rigorous, silent 30-day retreat praying through the life, passion, death and resurrection of Christ in four or five hours of meditation a day. When you do a 30-day retreat, your usual duties are suspended. They have to be. For example, for the duration of the retreat, a priest is not required to prepare homilies, visit the sick, baptize babies or hear confessions. He puts down these normal duties to enter into the work of the retreat in a more focused way. The retreat becomes his work. Just so, there can be other natural occasions in life where we put down our usual responsibilities to meet new demands, to take up with greater concentration some other duties as our work, our prayer. The disciples put down their daily tasks — fishing, for example — to travel with Jesus, to be trained up in his ministry. They relied on, among others, some of the women who traveled with them for food and other provisions. Those women who traveled with Jesus were relieved of their normal responsibilities in order to take up this new mission. It became their work. My point is: Illness or caring for someone who is ill and the mayhem


What if there were no Catholic schools? Imagine our community without Catholic schools. Go ahead. Take a moment and consider what our community would look like without these sacred places, where our children go each day to engage in a faith-filled education surrounded by supportive, nurturing adults and a rich spiritual environment. Then, consider what our nation would look like without these schools. For more than 150 years, Catholic schools have provided this country with countless human, social and financial benefits. They save taxpayers real money by keeping thousands of students out of often over-crowded public classrooms. They produce many of our nation’s current and former leaders. They form children who are better prepared for college and more civically engaged than their peers. It is no stretch of the imagination to say that our country is better off because Catholic schools have been woven into its foundational fabric. The more I reflect on this idea, the more I struggle to form the image in my head. I am aware that for some communities around the country, what is a thought exercise for us in the Twin Cities is reality. The changing landscape

of our Church and education system has made it all too real that they already live in a world with no local Catholic school. I am not blind to the fact that our schools here and nationwide continue to experience complex challenges. Transitioning from a financial model that relied on the nearly free labor of heroic religious women and men to a model relying on increasing levels of tuition to support livable wages for lay teachers and staff is no small feat. I simply cannot see this community without its Catholic schools. Their splendor and vibrancy — here, today — are seared permanently into my mind. That’s what I see when I close my eyes. Recently, our team at the Aim Higher Foundation set out to deliver our tuitionassistance scholarship checks to all K-8 Catholic schools in this archdiocese on behalf of the 1,300 scholars we support. Every school — every school — we visited was filled with the joy of students experiencing a Christ-centered, familyfocused formation where students are held to high standards and given the resources to meet — or exceed — those expectations. Every school was filled with happy children, engaged teachers and grateful school leaders, with tiny handshakes and big smiles. Every school united a financially, racially and religiously diverse community in an unshakable and unapologetically

JANUARY 24, 2019

LETTERS Apples and oranges that can unleash is a spiritual exercise. It may in fact be the spiritual work that God is calling you to for the time being. But rest assured, it is no less effective than if you were to do the exercises of St. Ignatius. The burden of illness is a training ground for growing in virtue and learning how to pray without ceasing. It is the equivalent of dropping your nets to follow Christ into this experience of illness and discovering how to love him and serve him in a new and deeply fulfilling way. I don’t like that my house is a wreck and that I’m behind on completing paperwork, preparing my taxes and even taking care of myself. It overwhelms me at times. But I drop my net daily and follow Jesus into this new work in confidence and joy because he is right there ahead of me, leading me through it. Where would I rather be? Lord, your love compels me, just like the disciples, to drop everything and follow you, wherever you may lead. Strengthen me for the work ahead and in the knowledge that I only ever want to be where you are. Kelly is the author of six books, including the award-winning “Jesus Approaches” (Loyola Press, 2017), and is a parishioner of St. Pius X in White Bear Lake. “Your Heart, His Home” is now a podcast. Listen at lizk.org.

Catholic identity. This is what I see when I close my eyes. I see the warm welcomes we received, from the moment we pressed the predictably placed buzzers and entered the always-busy school offices, to the goodbyes that always included a request for us to come back and visit the upcoming science fair, or to see a student performance or to join them at their next all-school Mass. And then there were those heavensent moments. When I close my eyes, I see the face of parents who, upon learning who we were, beamed in gratitude to tell us their child received a scholarship, and without the access it granted them to their school, would not have learned to read or would not have been accepted into high school. The child who eagerly told us about her family at home and her family at school. The principal who recounted a story of a refugee parent who had fled Liberia after her father was killed and was experiencing immigration challenges, who came to the office in tears — not because she had to return to Liberia, but because her child might have to leave the school. No, I can’t imagine our community — or our country — without our Catholic schools. That vision won’t form in my mind. Instead, during this Catholic Schools Week, let’s all envision what might be if our Catholic schools continue to thrive and grow. Houghton is president of the Aim Higher Foundation, which provides need-based scholarships to students attending all 79 K-8 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

A recent letter writer (“Where are the funds for charity?” Jan. 10) inquires where the funds for charity are in the archdiocese’s budget. The writer references an article that touts a “... cost-effective way to end homelessness.” I noted that no figures in the subject Utah/ LDS agreement were given. And no figures were provided for the overall budget of the LDS church to which regular donations are directed. But that is to be expected because those figures are unavailable. The Catholic Church, unlike LDS, does not require a 10 percent tithe of its members to the archdiocese or to the Vatican. Catholics donate to their parish and, unlike LDS, are free to participate in any Church activity without pledging a tithe, and they freely give (about 1.5 percent) to their local parish. The archdiocese budget is to support the parishes and their mission. Thus, Catholics are free and encouraged to donate to charities including Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services (worldwide) which serve strictly on need. Combined, they constitute one of the largest charities on the planet, while operating as separate entities serving different geographic sectors and are unaffected by any political or promotional efforts of the Church. Art Thell St. Joseph, West St. Paul

Appreciated profile Thank you for the recent profile of attorney Patrick Noaker (“Minneapolis attorney: Desire to help sexual abuse survivors fuels work,” Jan. 10). I was especially impressed that your story noted that many abuse victims, to numb their pain, engage in selfdestructive behaviors that not only exacerbate their suffering but also diminish their credibility. Noaker clearly understands this and now, thankfully, more of your readers will as well. David Clohessy St. Louis, Missouri Editor’s note: The writer is the former national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. Share your perspective by emailing CatholicSpirit@archspm.org. Please limit your letter to the editor to 150 words and include your parish and phone number. The Commentary page does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Catholic Spirit. Letters may be edited for length or clarity.

JANUARY 24, 2019



movies. Proceeds benefit the Liturgy Ministry. ccsonline.org.


Metropolitan Symphony at St. Matthew — Feb. 10: 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at 510 Hall Ave., St. Paul. “Dinosaur Extravaganza.” st-matts.org.

Father Dosh Speaker Series: “The Church is One” — 6 p.m. Jan. 31 at St. John the Baptist, 680 Mill St., Excelsior. Presented by Jeff Cavins. Includes reception and light appetizers, presentation and Q&A followed by fellowship. The inaugural presentation in the parish’s new speaker series honoring Father Mark Dosh, a former pastor who died last year. For more information, visit stjohns-excelsior.org/parish/speaker-series.

Parish events “Encounter Jesus with Intention” series — Jan. 24, 31 and Feb. 7: 6:30–8 p.m. at St. Ambrose, 4125 Woodbury Drive, Woodbury. Based on the book “Into His Likeness” by Edward Sri, with speaker Father Peter Williams. Patti at 651-768-3011. saintambroseofwoodbury.org. “Adopton: A Life-Giving Choice” — Jan. 24: 7–8:45 p.m. at St. Odilia, 3495 Victoria St. N., Shoreview. Respect Life and Social Justice Ministries is sponsoring a panel presentation on adoption by the Bellis organization. stodilia.org.

Together in Hope Concert — 8 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Basilica of St. Mary, 1600 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. The Together in Hope Choir is an ecumenical, professional-caliber ensemble with a message of healing and Christian reconciliation. It opened the 17th International Festival of Sacred Music and Art in Rome on the 501st anniversary of the Reformation, Oct. 31, 2018. The event includes an ecumenical message from Archbishop Bernard Hebda and Bishop Ann Svennungsen of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The concert is free. For more information, visit mary.org.

Women’s Morning of Renewal — Jan. 26: 7:30–11:30 a.m. at Holy Family, 5900 W. Lake St., St. Louis Park. Liz Kelly will speak on St. John Paul II’s Letter to Women. hfcmn.org. Knights of Columbus chili bingo and cook-off — Jan. 26: 5:30–9 p.m. at St. Michael, 22120 Denmark Ave., Farmington. stmichael-farmington.org. Zumba dance party for Campamento — Feb. 2: 10 a.m.–noon at St. Edward, 9401 Nesbitt Ave. S., Bloomington. Learn about Campamento, a summer camp at Teresa Toda Home, a home run by Carmelite Sisters for poor girls in the Dominican Republic. stedwardschurch.org.

Catholic Watchmen rally: “The Man Talk” with Matt Fradd — 6:30–9 p.m. Feb. 12 at St. Henry, 1001 Seventh St. E., Monticello. Evening includes eucharistic adoration and reconciliation. Dinner is provided. $20 free-will offering is suggested. Register at archspm.org/events.

Dining out Knights of Columbus Catholic Schools Week breakfast — Jan. 27: 9 a.m.–noon at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1725 Kennard St., Maplewood. presentationofmary.org. Knights of Columbus Catholic Schools Week breakfast — Feb. 3: 9 a.m.–noon at Transfiguration, 6133 15th St. N., Oakdale. transfigurationmn.org. Guardian Angels Men’s Club beef and sausage dinner — Feb. 10: 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at 217 Second St. W., Chaska. gachaska.org

Taize prayer — Third Friday of each month: 7 p.m. at The Benedictine Center, St. Paul’s Monastery, 2675 Benet Road, Maplewood. 651-777-7251 or stpaulsmonastery.org.

Retreats Winter Women’s Retreat: “The Lord is My Light and My Salvation” — Jan. 26: 8 a.m.–1 p.m. at Transfiguration, 6133 15th St. N., Oakdale. Hosted by Transfiguration Council of Catholic Women. Talks by Father John Paul Erickson. transfigurationmn.org. Men’s Silent Weekend Retreat — Feb. 1-3 at Christ the King Retreat Center, 621 First Ave. S., Buffalo. Theme: “Be Patient in Affliction” presented by King’s House preaching team. kingshouse.com. Men’s Weekend Retreat — Feb. 1-3 at Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center, 16387 St. Francis Lane, Prior Lake. Theme: “Rejoice and be glad: Our Call to Holiness Today.” franciscanretreats.net.

Married Couples Retreat — Feb. 8-10 at Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center, 16388 St. Francis Lane, Prior Lake. Theme: “Rejoice and be Glad: Our Call to Holiness Today.” franciscanretreats.net.

Conferences/workshops Remarriage seminar — Feb. 9: 9 a.m.–noon at Basilica of St. Mary, 88 N. 17th St., Minneapolis. mary.org.

Swing dance and spaghetti dinner — Feb. 9: 5:30–11 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul, 150 Railway St. E., Loretto. saintsppta.org.


Prayer/worship Pro-Life Memorial Mass — Jan. 25: 6 p.m. at St. Borromeo, 2739 Stinson Blvd. NE, St. Anthony. Mass celebrant Father Doug Ebert. stchb.org.

Order Franciscans Secular (OFS) — Third Sunday of each month: 1 p.m. at Catholic Charities, 1200 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis. 952-922-5523.

Sunday Spirits walking group for 50-plus Catholic singles — ongoing Sundays. Kay at 651-426-3103 or Al at 651-439-1203. Singles group — ongoing second Saturday each month: 6:15 p.m. at St. Vincent de Paul, 9100 93rd Ave. N., Brooklyn Park. 763-425-0412.



Taize prayer — Third Thursday of each month: 7–9 p.m. at St. Paul’s Monastery, 2675 Benet Road, Maplewood. benedictinecenter.org.

Cabaret Dinner Theatre — Feb. 9: 6 p.m. at Immaculate Conception, 4030 Jackson St. NE, Columbia Heights. Featuring songs from Disney

Taize prayer — First Friday of each month: 7:30 p.m. at St. Richard, 7540 Penn Ave. S., Richfield. strichards.com.

DEADLINE: Noon Thursday, 14 days before the anticipated Thursday date of publication. We cannot guarantee a submitted event will appear in the calendar. Priority is given to events occurring before the next issue date. LISTINGS: Accepted are brief no­tices of upcoming events hosted by Catholic parishes and organizations. If the Catholic connection is not clear, please emphasize it in your submission. Included in our listings are local events submitted by public sources that could be of interest to the larger Catholic community. ITEMS MUST INCLUDE the following to be considered for publication: uTime and date of event uFull street address of event

Women’s Silent Weekend Retreat — Feb. 1-3 at Christ the King Retreat Center, 621 First Ave., S., Buffalo. Theme: “Be Patient in Affliction,” presented by the King’s House preaching team. kingshouse.com.

Archdiocesan World Day of the Sick — Feb. 9: 10 a.m.–noon at St. Joseph, 1154 Seminole Ave., West St. Paul. Mass celebrant Bishop Andrew Cozzens; talk by Chaplain Father Marcus Milless. Sponsored by Curatio Apostolate for Catholic Healthcare Professionals and the Order of Malta America Association/Minnesota. curatioapostolate.com.

St. Pius X Winterfest — Feb. 10: 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. at 3878 Highland Ave., White Bear Lake. churchofstpiusx.org.

CALENDAR submissions

Immaculate Conception School preschool to grade eight open house — Jan. 30: 5:30–7 p.m. at 4030 Jackson St. NE, Columbia Heights. 763-7889065. iccsonline.org.

Young adults Theology on Tap — Wednesdays through Feb. 27:

uDescription of event uContact information in case of questions ONLINE: thecatholicspirit.com/ calendarsubmissions

MAIL: “Calendar,” The Catholic Spirit 777 Forest St., St. Paul, MN 55106 6:30–8:30 p.m. at Crooked Pint Ale House and Event Center, 1734 Adolphus St., Maplewood. Archbishop Bernard Hebda will speak Feb. 20. facebook.com/groups/joincya. Friday Night at the Friary — Third Friday of each month: 7–9 p.m. at Franciscan Brothers of Peace, 1289 Lafond Ave., St. Paul. Men ages 18-35 are invited for prayer and fellowship. facebook.com/ queenofpeacefriary.

Other events Knights of Columbus bingo — Wednesdays:

6–9 p.m. at Solanus Casey Council Hall, 1910 S. Greeley St., Stillwater. Concertina Bowl — Jan. 26: Noon–11 p.m. at Brook Hall at Blainbrook, 12000 Hwy. 65, Blaine. Sponsored by Blaine Knights of Columbus with proceeds to their charity account. Dick Dols at 763-786-6294. 2019 Dakota County Legislative Breakfast — Jan. 30: 7–9:15 a.m. at St. John Neumann, 4030 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan. Sponsored by MICAH South. “Seeing God” art exhibit and reception — Jan. 30: 7–8:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Monastery, 2675 Benet Road, Maplewood. benedictinecenter.org.

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PRAYERS NOTICE: Prayers must be submitted in advance. Payment of $8 per line must be received before publication.

To advertise in the classifieds, email classifiedads@archspm.org.


JANUARY 24, 2019


Making waves “

Our focus is not to make abortion illegal, but to make it unthinkable. Abby Johnson


Former Planned Parenthood worker says ‘power of ultrasound’ changed her. Now her story will hit the big screen. By Kurt Jensen Catholic News Service


hen it comes to speaking her mind, Abby Johnson never holds back. Affable in a way usually described as downhome, as the mother of seven children, she finds that a certain bluntness suits her best. It’s the only way, she concedes, to keep order in her household. Johnson, the 38-year-old pro-life activist and founder of And Then There Were None, had just four minutes to make her points when she spoke during the March for Life rally Jan. 18. Next, she’ll have to take some months off after her eighth child is born in June. A new film drama, “Unplanned,” based on her 2011 memoir of working for Planned Parenthood, will do all the talking for her soon. And that means losing a bit of the control she’s had over her own life story since she began making speeches almost 10 years ago. She’s thrilled, of course, but quickly told Catholic News Service in an interview, “It felt like I’m making myself very vulnerable here in a way I haven’t before. “Everyone in America is going to have the opportunity to see the worst version of me. So I really prayed about it. I felt very anxious about it,” she said.

Written and directed by Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, who also made the three “God’s Not Dead” films, and starring Ashley Bratcher as Johnson, it’s set to hit theaters March 22. Excerpts were shown during the rally on the National Mall. “I’m telling you, this is anointed,” Solomon said at a November screening at the Secretariat of ProLife Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. “This has nothing to do with us.” “Abortion is not going to stop on its own,” he added. “Media [are] the most powerful weapon there is.” The film takes viewers inside procedures at the clinic where Johnson worked, including abortions resulting from the RU-486 (mifepristone) protocol, and it covers her life and career through the time she joined the clinic, interactions with pro-life protesters, her resignation, and a later legal challenge from Planned Parenthood over revealing information in clinic documents, in which she prevailed. There’s also a cameo by Mike Lindell, founder of the Minnesota company MyPillow, who helped finance the movie. Johnson was among more than 10 March for Life rally speakers, including journalist Ben Shapiro and Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, along with several members of Congress. Johnson, a Texas native, began volunteering for Planned Parenthood in 2001. She then joined its clinic in Bryan, Texas, and resigned in 2009 after participating, she says, in an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old fetus. “It was the power of the ultrasound that changed my heart,” Johnson says. “Now science has ruled definitely that there’s life in the womb.” “Unplanned” joins two other recent pro-life dramas. “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” based on the crimes of a Philadelphia abortion doctor, Dr. Kermit Gosnell

Abby Johnson, left, is seen on the set of the movie “Unplanned” with actress Ashley Bratcher, who plays her. The movie details the story of Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood administrator who quit that job to join the pro-life movement after her up-close interaction with abortion.

(played by Earl Billings), was released last year. “Roe v. Wade,” a drama based on the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion and starring Jon Voight as Chief Justice Warren Burger, has had a complicated production history and as yet has no release date. “We’re trying to serve the Lord. And you know what? We’re going to get ripped,” Solomon said. “America cannot continue to exist if we do abortion. It will destroy us.” Johnson found the two filmmakers easy to work with. “I wanted it to be accurate. We had a lot of conversations over what I did and didn’t want.” When a draft script was sent for her approval, she found “it was done really well. I told them to come down here to Texas. So we got started.” She thinks Bratcher is “amazing.” “When I went on set the first time and saw her playing me, I started laughing when I saw her facial expressions,” Johnson said. “It really was me.” Johnson’s faith journey began with a Baptist upbringing. At the time of her Planned Parenthood involvement, she was a member of an Episcopal parish, but “when I became pro-life, the priest told me I was not welcome,” and she and her husband, Doug, joined a Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation. Becoming a Catholic in 2012, she said, was an easy transformation. “When I left Planned Parenthood, I left all my friends behind. All my new friends happened to be Catholic. It felt so familiar, and it just felt right.” The film shows abortion equipment and procedures, but stays away from many details, usually reminding viewers that pain is always involved. And that, Johnson says, suits the goals of And Then There Were None. “Our focus is not on legislative issues,” she said. “Our focus is not to make abortion illegal, but to make it unthinkable.”

Profile for The Catholic Spirit Publishing Co.

The Catholic Spirit - January 24, 2019  

Roadmap for Catholic Education, Institute for Catholic School Leadership, Partial government shutdown assistance, Pilgrims in Panama, Cathol...

The Catholic Spirit - January 24, 2019  

Roadmap for Catholic Education, Institute for Catholic School Leadership, Partial government shutdown assistance, Pilgrims in Panama, Cathol...